Kristina Kallas: We are ready to be part of the government
Chairman of the Estonia 200 party Kristina Kallas told ERR's "Otse uudistemajast" webcast that her party will be among those forming the next Estonian government. Estonia 200 will make sure of it by being elected to the Riigikogu. However, she admits that Estonia 200 lacks experience to be the one to form the next government.
Even though Kallas said at the party's general assembly on Saturday that Estonia 200 would form Estonia's next government, she made some adjustments. "We have no reason to doubt we could do it. We will be part of the coalition that will form the government."
Kallas said that in order to be among the coalition partners, Estonia 200 would first have to be elected to the Riigikogu. She said that the party is ready to serve in the next government today.
"We would love to form our own government and run the Government Office in an ideal world. But we do not have enough political experience. We need experience ruling and we are ready to experience it," the chairwoman said.
Kallas said that Estonia 200 is ready to form a government with all parties, while it has certain reservations as concerns the Conservative People's Party (EKRE). "The government today tells us that ruling with EKRE is practically impossible. They are only concentrating on staying in power and enjoying power," the party head said.
"Give me a single example of the interests of their voters that EKRE have protected?"
Kallas said that one of Estonia's problems is that governments are formed hurriedly and that the same is true for the current government.
Another problem of the current government according to Kallas is that it is concentrating too much on the problems of the present that should be the responsibility of state officials. "The state cannot get stuck in the endless tangle of current problems. It is the business of politicians to guide the country into the future," Kallas said.
She also had criticism for opposition parties. "The reform plans of both the Reform Party and the Social Democrats have run aground. There is no vigor, no strength there," Kallas said. She described the idea of going back to what the Reform Party was doing as outdated.
Host Toomas Sildam offered Isamaa's pension reform as an example of a major and future-oriented idea, while Kallas said that because abolishing the second pillar fund is a bad idea, the reform is not the way for Estonia.
Kallas said that even though Estonia 200 is liberal and globalist, the party's decisions and plans put Estonia first. "Estonia is paramount for us and only then do we look to the world. We want to have Estonia facing the future," Kallas said.
The chairman also commented on the government's borrowing and described it as a very good decision but added that what Estonia 200 does not agree with is how to use the money. "It is used to patch holes in the state budget. Throwing money around aimlessly is not a good idea," Kallas said.
She listed three priorities that Estonia 200 would have for spending loan money. Investments into green energy or wind farms, digital education and personal medicine.
Kallas considered as unavoidable fiscal deficit next year.
She said that if Estonia 200 supports same-sex marriage, it also means the right to adopt.
Also that Estonia 200 would not have funded a new oil shale pre-refinery.
Toomas Sildam asked Kallas whether Estonia 200 could agree with the Center Party on putting Estonian and Russian children in the same school and was told yes.
Talking about looming local government council elections, Kallas said that Estonia 200 will only have election lists in major local governments.
"We have local governments that sport very strong teams of local activists, for example, Kohtla-Järve. I see no reason to create a separate Estonia 200 election list there. What we need is a joint opposition list," Kallas said. The party plans to run with its own list in Jõhvi.
Kallas described as possible a turn in Narva. "Never before has power simply been there for the taking in Narva," she described.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski