State has no strategy in place for lifting emergency situation restrictions

Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development Viljar Lubi speaking at a government press conference.
Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development Viljar Lubi speaking at a government press conference. Source: ERR

The lifting of restrictions implemented for the duration of the emergency situation will be based not on economic but rather health-based logic, and as there is currently no certainty regarding how the coronavirus will continue to spread, no strategy is in place for exiting the standstill either, said Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Deputy Secretary General for Economic Development Viljar Lubi.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Lubi said that the current economic situation is tense. What will happen going forward, however, will depend on what is going on in the healthcare field, as a market recovery cannot be expected prior to the relaxation of movement restrictions.

"Thankfully the entire economy hasn't come to a halt, when it comes to part of manufacturing and the service sector," he noted. "We will try to do everything we can to ensure that work can continue and to reduce the effect on the economy."

According to the deputy secretary general, it is yet too soon to say when the next steps from the government would be seen; this would depend on how the crisis is evolving. Many ideas exist for stimulating the market, but they are of no importance until it is known when restrictions are lifted.

The lifting of current restrictions, however, will be based not on economic but rather health-based logic. According to Lubi, what is being taken into account is what the Health Board and the Ministry of Social Affairs are saying, and what scenarios are currently employed; a strategy for exiting the current standstill will be drawn up accordingly.

"We are most dependent on what scenario the spread of the virus will follow," he said. "We currently don't know for sure, just as the healthcare side of things the world over doesn't. We are working in somewhat unpredictable conditions, just like business-owners are."

According to the ministry official, companies are doing their best to restrict their expenses as much as possible. Within the next few days, employers will have access to Unemployment Insurance Fund measures that will be implemented retroactively, and Kredex's initial crisis measures became available last Friday.

"We are prepared for the fact that in the next few weeks, Kredex will have to respond to every possible market failure so that companies can be guaranteed access to their working capital," Lubi said. "We will try to monitor how these measures are accepted by the market in as close to real time as possible."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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