Coalition parties disagree on administrative reform
According to the Reform Party, the coalition generally agrees on administrative reform, and only minor changes to the bill introduced on Thursday need to be made. However, the parties' MPs aren’t quite as optimistic.
Representatives of both the Social Democrats (SDE) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) said that there were problems with the government’s approach to the topic of administrative reform, and that bigger disputes were waiting ahead.
MP Kalle Laanet (Reform) told the Baltic News Service on Friday that the government’s bill was based on consensus, and that the coalition saw eye to eye. Laanet said he expected a few “cosmetic discussions”, and said that if there were “good ideas”, they would certainly be taken into account, but that there weren’t any major differences.
SDE chairman Andres Anvelt, however, told the BNS that all three parties had different views. “For instance, we’d like to see drafts of other bills connected to administrative reform already during the proceedings,” Anvelt said.
He went on to say that IRL had its own positions, which they had made quite clear. Since it was clear that the coalition couldn’t count on extra votes from the opposition regarding its reform bill, there was a lot of room for bargaining. Then again, there was very little room at the same time, as there was no other support in sight.
Asked about potential attacks out of the opposition’s ranks, Anvelt said that he expected the debate to be fierce, as in his opinion all three opposition parties would jump at the chance to score political points. The administrative reform bill was one of this government’s most important, which was reason enough for the opposition to try and shoot it down, Anvelt added.
Priit Sibul, leader of IRL’s parliamentary party, told the BNS that details of the reform bill would certainly be discussed further, and that he didn’t expect it all to be too easy. Still, Sibul said he hoped they could discuss the bill before the summer.
According to Sibul, the current bill isn’t ambitious enough. It shouldn’t just be a formality, which is how several politicians and stakeholders have said the government treated it.