Election coalition umbrella organization publishes political manifesto
A union of local Estonian election coalitions called Eesti Valimisliitude Vabakond has published a manifesto describing the problems in Estonia.
The manifesto has been signed by 34 election coalition members from around the nation, including one Tartu council member.
The document says that Estonia is a modern, technology-based society which still has roots in nature, listing five main problems the nation faces:
1) fast urbanization and the youth-drain
2) urbanization leading to the drop in real estate prices (in rural areas)
3) jobs concentrating in Tallinn and Harju County
4) great wage disparity between Harju County and rural areas
5) the decline in population and in the working age population has been left mainly to the small local governments to solve.
The organization proposes a number of measures, including better child services in small towns, low-interest rate home loans for families in rural areas, heavily subsidize or free public inter-county transport, allow local municipalities to pick the county governor, bringing more state institutions to smaller towns and direct 10 percent of pension funds into long-term projects outside of Harju County.
On security, the organization proposes creating state wheat and food reserves, a program to allow conscripts to serve in the Defense Forces for an additional year and restore the military capability of the border guard.
Imre Mürk, the spokesman for the organization, said coalition agreements and Brussels dictate the nation's budget, not political vision, which in Estonia is weak. Other local government members also said the budget is centralized and the nation desperately needs administrative reform.
The organization, which unites non-party political entities, usually set up to run at elections, said it is seeking partners among the political parties to run for Parliament in March.
The manifesto can be ready here, but is only available in Estonian.