Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar has spoken on television and radio ads advocating a healthier way of life, part of a promotional campaign that has cost the city 50,000 euros. “If I manage to induce thousands to participate in the Tallinn Marathon or Nordic walking events thanks to those ads, then that is a small price to pay for our health [...]” the mayor said in a press conference today.
Savisaar, who had a heart attack in 2003, said he participates in Nordic walking almost every Saturday. Delfi reported in mid-June that Savisaar had recently needed to leave public ceremonies or to sit down in mid-speech due to fatigue.
North Tallinn District elder Karin Tammemägi came under fire last week for appearing on large billboards in the city, also encouraging Tallinn locals to be more physically active. She told uudised.err.ee that the ads, which feature a giant picture of her, cost 500 euros and were paid for by the city.
Opposition members of the City Council have cried foul, accusing Tammemägi of using public funds to finance what they say amount to political ads for herself and other Center Party candidates ahead of the upcoming municipal elections. One city councilor for IRL has filed a complaint with Parliament's party finances committee over the issue.
In the elections, set for October 20, the Center Party will be battling to hold on to its majority in the City Council.