GALLERY: Anti-fuel duty hike protests draw 1,500 ({{commentsTotal}})

Around 1,000-1,500 people turned up on Sunday to protest the planned fuel excise duty hike, although 65,000 had protested on social media and organizers were hoping for a figure closer to 6,000.

The protest initially began as a broad-based attack on the plan, which is yet to be implemented and which could see tax on fuel increase by 10 percent each year for four years, but Sunday's culminating event was organized by the youth wing of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE).

Protesters said if tax hikes will continue, fuel prices will be higher in Estonia than in Finland by 2020. Alternatives such as tax on cars according to horsepower and curbing government running costs were offered.

Jaak Madison, a young EKRE MP, called on IRL and the Free Party to join forces to bring down the 'purple social democrat-liberal' coalition, Postimees reported.

A second protest has been registered for May 1 in Tartu with EKRE's youth wing, called “Blue Awakening”, promising more events.

PM Taavi Rõivas said fuel prices at petrol stations will increase by 5 cents per liter and the plan has been overdramatized.

The other meeting

As last year, pro-Russian protests failed to attract noticeably more people than journalists covering the event. Sunday's remembrance meeting at the former site of the Bronze Soldier statue saw only around 20 people show up.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Siim Kallas.

Interview: Siim Kallas on ambitions, Estonian politics, and EU presidency

Following the local elections in October this year, Reform Party founder, former prime minister, EU commissioner, and presidential candidate Siim Kallas took on the job of municipal mayor of Viimsi, a community on the outskirts of Tallinn. In his interview with ERR's Toomas Sildam, Kallas talks about local government, his party, the EU presidency, and perspectives in Estonian politics.

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