There will be no progress in the lives of Ida Viru County, one of the poorest areas in Estonia, residents until the Social Democrats and the Center Party team up in government, says Social Democrat MP Jaak Allik.
“I have seen Estonian politics and top politicians close up for over two decades and have arrived at an understanding that only when the Social Democrats and the Center Party unite and take responsibility, will the fate of Ida Viru County and its residents improve significantly,” he told local newspaper Põhjarannik.
He said that the IRL and Reform Party government failed in its regional policy, with 3,500 voters leaving the county since 2011, while it had been 900 during the previous four years. The Reform Party and Social Democrat coalition even eliminated the Regional Affairs Minister position, he added.
Allik said that there are a number of projects which should be fast-tracked, such as the creation of a Russian Institute within the Narva College, while teachers, doctors, lawyers and other professionals should receive a motivational package to move to the area. He said that minimum wage should also be increased to 800 euros per month to stop the outflow of workers from Ida Viru County and Estonia on the whole.
The state should boost re-industrialization, he added.
Allik is not the only SDE politician to flirt with the Center Party, with Chairman Sven Mikser saying in October that his party has not shut the door to cooperation between the two parties. PM Taavi Rõivas commented on Mikser's words saying there is now a 50-50 chance that Edgar Savisaar could become prime minister in 2015.