Helle-Moonika Helme: Kaja Kallas has burned all her bridges
Chairman of the Reform Party Kaja Kallas has burned all her bridges with her insults, said Helle-Moonika Helme, deputy chair of the EKRE Riigikogu group, on ERR's Otse uudistemajast program.
"We should talk about what will happen to Kaja Kallas. To accuse the PM of treason, say that he is selling the country as chairman of the Reform Party and the opposition leader – what is that?! It is hard to believe anyone could utter such words," Helme said when answering host Mirko Ojakivi's questions.
Helme added that Kallas set about burning bridges as soon as the election results were in by ruling out cooperation with certain parties. "Parliamentary arithmetic would have given her a coalition (with EKRE – ed.), but she ruled it out. It was very foolish of her," Helme said.
Helme also theorized what could happen should the current coalition of the Centre Party, Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa fall apart.
"Let us presume the government will fall and the president will task Kaja Kallas with forming a new one. Who can she sit down with and look in the eye? Politics is the art of negotiation, but that, too, has its limits. After all those personal and base insults, will she be able to work with anyone," Helme asked.
Trusts the state secretary, committee and Järvik
Talking about the scandal revolving around Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik, Helme said she trusts the results of the investigation to be carried out by a committee under the state secretary put together by the PM, whatever they may be. At the same time, Helme said she trusts Järvik.
"We have met with him in the Riigikogu and heard his explanations. I have not read all the documentation involved and cannot act as his lawyer, but some of our people have, and they find he has done nothing wrong."
Helme said that the work of a minister holds no glamour and is rather that of a house super where the first thing every morning is signing a pile of documents put on your desk by officials.
"It would be foolish if a minister simply signed them without looking. Think about what could happen. That is how it began, with the minister (Järvik – ed.) finding something in those papers he thought he perhaps shouldn't sign. He sought advice in terms of whether it was something he had to sign.
Helme criticized the prosecution's decision to launch an investigation into a possible conflict of interest regarding Järvik's former adviser Urmas Arumäe.
"Different things are launched and processed all the time, wasting public resources. And then, the prosecution starts looking for a way out of those things. People have been dragged from one place to another for years and public resources wasted. It makes no sense to launch such expensive criminal proceedings only to find that there was nothing there to begin with."
Attacks against EKRE are attacks against entire government
Despite the scandal, Helme found that partners trust each other in the coalition and the government is in good health. Helme also said that attacking EKRE constitutes attacking the entire government.
"I have told our coalition partners in the Riigikogu that your ministers can work in peace because ours are taking all the flak. It is no secret we are a doorway to attacking the entire government."
Asked why EKRE is the coalition partner that is under attack, Helme said the attacks are aimed against the party's worldview.
"But our worldview is also a human right. Conservative, liberal and leftist ideologies should all have a place in democratic Estonia. Right now, it's as if a particular ideology has been outlawed. We are also attacked over our protests. However, these protests are not aimed at attacking anyone; we are simply voicing our positions. It is our constitutional right."
Talking about former minister Kert Kingo, Helle-Moonika Helme said she feels for her because Kingo was under a lot of pressure for half a year.
"Because she cannot speak foreign languages, doesn't want to travel. A person is expected to work in their administrative area, but she couldn't work because there was slander, painting her as incompetent," Helme defended her fellow EKRE MP.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski