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Estonian Prime Minister Makes Prime Time Debut in the US

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Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas appeared on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Rõivas’ appearance on the show marks the first time an Estonian leader has been on late night television in the US.

The interview included topics such as the Estonian tax system, Internet voting and the European Immigrant crisis. Noah asked the Prime Minister about the current US leaders who have praised Estonian innovation by showing clips of President Obama and Jeb Bush. “Jeb Bush says Estonians can fill out their tax forms online in 5 minutes, is that true?” Noah asked. Rõivas responds, “Well, it used to be, now we have upgraded the system, now it’s 3 minutes.”

Noah continued with questions regarding Estonian e-governance. “…It’s not just taxes, there is also voting online, how does this happen, how do you get this into other places in the world?” Rõivas explained about the Estonian ID card, also mentioning that Noah now has an Estonian e-Residency card. The Prime Minister tells the host how Estonians securely log into the system and cast their votes; technology that Estonians have been using since 2005. “People of all ages vote online…it’s convenient,” Rõivas said.

Lastly, the interview concludes with Noah asking the Prime Minister about the terror attacks in Belgium and the immigrant crisis in Europe. Rõivas responded, “First of all, I think that all of those people who are running from war and terror, who are refugees, should not be blamed for those who are terrorists.” The audience erupted in applause as Rõivas continued, “…So, we should keep our unity, we should work together, not only Europe; but also Europe and US, saying we are not afraid.”

Noah ended the interview stating, “It was a beautiful message, I honestly couldn’t have said it better myself.” Then thanked Prime Minister Rõivas for coming to the show.

The interview aired on the network Comedy Central, Tuesday March 22, 2016.


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