Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said former regional affairs minister Siim Kiisler's administrative reform plan was more slogan than substance.
He said municipality borders should not be drawn from Tallinn, and had Kiisler's plan materialized, many local governments would have been forced into a merger, for example Viimsi (a wealthy suburb) might have had to merge with Maardu (more industrial-oriented, with a garden town but also a working-class centre and large port).
Kiisler said today the government missed an opportunity to finally move forward with administrative reform, saying a study by the Ministry of Interior found that 71 percent of people who had an opinion on the topic supported his plan.
Kiisler's tõmbekeskus (“Population Center”) reform drew up a list of 50 to 60 larger population hubs, into which all municipalities would have had to merge. IRL's former coalition partner, the Reform Party, never backed the idea, saying they do not want to force any mergers.
All political forces have expressed the need to reshape or reform Estonia's 215 local governments, many of which have a population in the low three figure range and are unable to offer all services required by law.