Rõivas ERR interview: Coalition holding on
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said in ERR's end-of-year-interview, that reopening coalition talks in the summer did not have a positive impact on the coalition's health, and nor did the fiasco over Juhan Parts's nomination to a high-level EU position, which was blocked by SDE.
He said there are many rooting for the fall of the government, but that compromise is important to avoid annual coalition partner swaps.
“Those who think success in politics comes from kicking and screaming, and showing force, those people know very little about modern politics. I look at my colleagues in Europe – not one of us could imagine Angela Merkel or David Cameron waving their fists,” Rõivas said, adding that he believes the success of a coalition depends on no party feeling injustice and the current coalition has achieved this.
Speaking about Parts, Rõivas said he is unhappy with the attacks against Parts, adding that the topic was a serious point of conflict in the coalition.
The more political forces Parliament represents, the better it reflects the will of the people, Rõivas said, adding that the new parties in Parliament have brought with them a new, unforeseen political culture.
“To put it diplomatically, not everything which EKRE (the Conservative Peoples' Party) has represented has been in line with values I would like to see in Parliament,” he said.
“Logically speaking, those migrant masses can not come to Estonia – we are not on the migration trajectory. It is also not logical for people to pick Estonia as the destination of choice. There will be no mass migration to Estonia next year,” Rõivas said.
Speaking about the Center Party, Rõivas said the party is making it ever harder to cooperate with it. He said party chairman Edgar Savisaar's speech at the Center Party internal elections in November was an eye opener. He added the problem lies in the party's policies, not just the leader, as it is one dimensionally pro-Kremlin. “Not only Edgar Savisaar, but the entire party has, in essence, said that corruption is acceptable, that the Estonian nation is slanted and we do things differently,” he said.
Still ahead of Latvia and Lithuania
“Those who state the opposite [that Latvia and Lithuania are more successful than Estonia] do not consider which phase of development one or another economy is in and do not look at the salary levels, which is the total volume of the economy,” he said, adding the Estonian state budget is 1.6 billion euros bigger than the Latvian budget and that salaries and pensions are many dozens of percentages higher.
Rõivas said the better Estonia's neighbors do, the better Estonia fares, adding that it would be in Estonia's interest for its neighbors to prosper.
Russian sanctions to remain
Rõivas said Russia should not hope for fewer sanctions until it has stopped its aggression in Ukraine.
“Sanctions have been implemented because Russia is an aggressor in Ukraine – this is a sentence which no Center Party chairman candidate could clearly say out loud [...]” he added.
New president must continue to grow Estonia
Rõivas praised President Toomas Hendrik Ilves's direct nature and his statements on foreign and security policies, adding that only few appreciate this in 2006, when Ilves became president.
“Toomas Hendrik Ilves has been a great president for Estonia. In the best way possible, he has helped make Estonia larger. I hope that the new elected president must, in a positive sense, work to make Estonia greater. In my opinion, this is one of the most important tasks for a president,” Rõivas said.