IRL Pledges Marathon Parliament Sitting
While in past years, it's been the Center Party filibustering end-of-session sittings in Parliament, this time national conservative IRL, newly in the opposition, has vowed to hold things up - as a protest against the government's plan to defer the parent's pension for three years.
Parliament is trying to wrap up its spring session this week, but IRL chairman Urmas Reinsalu said in a statement that the faction is ready for a "marathon" today after the coalition "rigidly" stuck to its guns ealier this week regarding postponing the parent's pension.
The pension is one of the major planks in IRL's former coalition agreement with Reform Party, which ditched its erstwhile partner and formed a government with the Social Democrats.
"With our protest, we want to call on the ruling coalition to reconsider its position," said Reinsalu.
"Putting off the parent's pension will strip 226,000 pensioners of 86 million euros of pension money that they had counted on. For an average parent, it means forgoing 120 euros a year in supplementary pension, which comes to over 360 euros over three years."
Speaker Eiki Nestor (Social Democrats) called an extraordinary sitting of Parliament on Friday to start at 10:00. A raft of issues that were on the docket for this week but were not discussed will come up; the sitting will last until the agenda is covered.
Today's sitting started at 14:00 and will deal with 23 bills, 10 of them in the third and final reading. The legal ombudsman's 2013 activity report will also be discussed.
In the first reading are such initiatives as the worker disablement reform, child protection act and citizenship act.