Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said he was in no hurry to start dealing with Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi's letter of resignation, which was submitted Sunday, citing the month he is allotted by law to do so and saying that Ligi should be allowed to finish what he started.
He maintained it was Ligi's own decision. "I think we would have also defused the tensions if Ligi had continued, but admittedly it is somewhat easier to reinstate a peaceful working relationship and thus Ligi made the acceptable choice in the name of the team," Rõivas told reporters.
He also criticized the Social Democrats for "escalating the topic." "Inciting an interethnic conflict over one ill-advised (Facebook) posting just to win short-term political profit is not the right attitude."
The country is led by a "right-left" coalition of the liberal democratic Reform Party and the Social Democrats, and cracks have been showing even before Ligi and Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski clashed.
The Social Democrats have recently also been facing the sharpest erosion of public support. The latest polling has their support under 20 percent and at the lowest levels in two-and-a-half years.
Postimees mooted the names of two possible replacements for Ligi. One is Aivar Sõerd, a former finance minister from 2005-07, and the other was MP Arto Aas.