Tsahkna: Reform Party’s scaremongering has to stop
Leader of outgoing junior coalition partner IRL, Margus Tsahkna, said that there was no reason to be afraid of Estonia moving towards the left or right. He further said that a coalition with SDE and the Center Party could address economic issues Reform had refused to deal with.
Tsahkna pointed to comments made by leading figures of the Reform Party on Monday, for example Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur, who said that Estonia was moving towards a left-leaning government and that this was dangerous. Also, Minister of Public Administration Arto Aas had made a comment on Twitter, warning that the next government might abandon administrative reform.
The Reform Party better stop this kind of scaremongering, Tsahkna said. They were in shock after the events of the last few days, but there was no reason for this kind of talk. “Get over it, is what I’d say. The administrative reform with almost all municipalities participating will continue.”
The reform needed to be carried out, Tsahkna said, though despite the government’s work to get municipalities to merge, they had been asking all year for more information about their future tasks and financing model. But the current government hadn’t been able to discuss this even internally, he pointed out.
Without Reform Party, stagnating economy can finally be addressed
Tsahkna added that there was no point scaring people with scenarios of the government moving towards the left or right. Besides, the Reform Party had nationalized railway company Eesti Raudtee, and its three last cabinets had raised direct subsidies. After 17 years in government, the Reform Party was depleted and needed time to rest to get to new ideas, Tsahkna said.
The IRL chairman also expressed hope that in a coalition with the Center Party and the Social Democrats they could concentrate more on helping the economy. To do so, there had to be thinking outside the box.
“We’ll have more expert opinions. There is a whole pile of ideas how to solve problems that experts, entrepreneurs, businesses, and employees have come up with. They simply aren’t discussed today because there’s a fine-tuning spreadsheet according to which for example social tax is reduced by half a percent, and then that is what’s advertised. Everybody understands that this won’t get the economy going,” Tsahkna said.
Ossinovski: This government is finished
Chairman of the Social Democrats Jevgeni Ossinovski said earlier that one of the matters in which the parties had been looking for common ground was what could be done without the Reform Party in government. “A broader revision of tax politics. First of all what also international organizations have been suggesting: The tax burden of those with low incomes needs to be reduced,” Ossinovski said.
He also expressed hope that Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas could muster enough statesmanship to resign on Tuesday. “So that nobody needs to go through this unpleasant procedure and express their lack of confidence in him.” This government was finished, Ossinovski said.