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Ratas on coalition agreement: Biggest policy shift since Estonia regained independence

The Center Party's leadership voting on the coalition agreement, Nov. 19, 2016.
The Center Party's leadership voting on the coalition agreement, Nov. 19, 2016. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ ERR)

The Center Party was still the country’s most popular party, Ratas pointed out, referring to a survey published just days ago. The coming coalition would bring the party’s platform to the government level. “Doubtlessly the people have great expectations,” Ratas said. The Center Party's leadership signed off on the new coalition agreement on Saturday.

Ratas defined as the party’s political aims winning next year’s local elections, the absolute majority on the Tallinn city council, and winning the Riigikogu elections in 2019.

Introducing the coalition to his party’s leadership, Ratas said that Estonia’s foreign and security policy would continue on the same course. He stressed that Estonia’s membership in the European Union and NATO was its best security guarantee. Increasing the funding of the country’s foreign representations was also very important.

Talking about the new coalition’s planned changes to the tax system, Ratas said that they were looking at the biggest shift in tax and economic policies since Estonia regained its independence.

Though there was not going to be a progressive income tax in the traditional sense, they would introduce its idea to the system and introduce clear levels. The new tax package would clearly be fairer, and would increase low and mid-level incomes, Ratas said.

Ratas also pointed to the more than €300m in state investment the new coalition had agreed on, and said that they could be financed. They had been very careful to define their future tax and spending policy in a way that wouldn’t affect the balanced budget.

He also promised that the coalition would help farmers, and increase the base pension to bring the income of the elderly to a fairer level.

“This agreement is the vision of the three parties to solve Estonia’s key problems, and to fulfill the wishes of the voters. This agreement wasn’t easy to come to, but it came out in its best possible form, because we started with what will solve problems,” Ratas stressed, adding that the new government would remain open to new ideas.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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