Kaja Kallas: Government wants Reform to save Estonia's face in Europe

Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas. Source: ERR

Chairman of the opposition Reform Party, Kaja Kallas said that bringing the decision of whether to support EU's economic recovery and long-term budget to Riigikogu is a political technology maneuver, so that EKRE and Isamaa could oppose the proposal, but with the support of Reform's votes it would still pass.

Kallas said in a social media live broadcast: "The background of it [bringing the decision to Riigikogu's plenary sitting] is so that Reform Party would save Estonia's face in Europe. We do support the foreign politics of Estonia and the EU and that we wouldn't stand alone."

She added that in the government, the Center Party approves of the package, but Isamaa and EKRE oppose it.

She added: "So bringing the decision to Riigikogu, the two partners can oppose it because they know that Reform will still come in and save them. Yes, we are public servants and we will act in accordance to what is right for Estonia."

The Chairman of Reform Party added that support for the proposed economic recovery package does not mean that conditions cannot be discussed. "What worries me is that the attention of the government has been on arguing, instead of trying to bargain for better conditions at a higher level."

Kallas said there are two sides to the proposed €750 billion joint loan. The first is political, as it is necessary for Estonia that the EU remains strong.

"We have to stick together and help those in need. So that we'd be helped when we need it."

As a second side she said that the EU as a whole would be getting the loan at remarkably low interest rates and that would be a win for all member states.

The European Commission would borrow €750 billion to restart the economy, of which €500 billion would be given to member states as support and €250 billion as loans. The fund based on the joint loan also would complement the European Union's seven-year €1.1 trillion budget.

ERR News wrote on Thursday that after a cabinet meeting discussion, the Estonian government decided to support the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027 and its economic recovery plan.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said that since Estonia's economy is so closely linked to other member states, the economic recovery package would directly and indirectly support most Estonian entrepreneurs and employees.

In contrast, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said that agreeing on joint loan was a difficult compromise for the party, which leaves no room for withdrawal.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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