Estonia appoints new finance minister

AP News
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Posted: Nov 03, 2014 9:12 AM

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Estonia's president has appointed a new finance minister to replace Jurgen Ligi , who was forced to resign after insulting an ethnic Russian colleague.

Maris Lauri, an adviser to the prime minister, was immediately taking the finance portfolio on Monday.

The 48-year-old Lauri, Estonia's first female finance minister, has held posts at the central bank, the Economics Ministry and various commercial banks, including Sweden's Swedbank AB.

Ligi stepped down a week ago after a public uproar over his remarks on Facebook that Social Democrat Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski was "an immigrant's son from the pink party."

Ossinovski represents Estonia's ethnic-Russian minority that makes up a quarter of the Baltic country's population of 1.3 million, and Ligi's comments were seen as degrading by both Russian speakers and ethnic Estonians.