Ossinovski: Budget Not Settled, Government Office Jumped Gun
Although the Government Office issued a statement yesterday saying the coalition had agreed on the budget, the Social Democratic Minister of Education and Research, Jevgeni Ossinovski, said that was premature.
Ossinovski told Postimees daily that it was "hard to comment" on the Government Office announcements as many important topics, he said, were still undecided before the 8.5 billion euro budget can be finalized.
At Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, he said, "we got pretty far but not to the finish line," adding that the disagreements concerned several real estate sites and "other substantive budgetary decisions."
He said the state budget should be tackled in a more statesmanlike fashion, including ensuring comparability of the spheres of the budget. "Currently it is understandable that security issues get the emphasis, but statesmanlike behavior should be seen on the rest," he said and press releases not sent out until the document was final.
Ossinovki did note that the line items in question were not large but could affect other areas and said the Cabinet should have more longer-term vision to make the decisions concerning extra funding in a balanced manner.