Two ministers of the new coalition government, Kaia Iva (IRL) and Mihhail Korb (Center), unanimously confirmed on Monday that they are focused on cooperation which would help the new coalition last in an atmosphere of mutual understanding at least through the next elections.
Korb, the new Minister of Public Affairs to replace Arto Aas (Reform), confirmed on ETV’s Monday night broadcast of “Ringvaade” that the country-wide administrative reform would continue to progress according to the same plan and same tempo as with the Reform Party. The reform has begun to reach the end of its first phase, which involves voluntary mergers between the country’s smaller municipalities.
“Very many people have been involved in this process and it would be a great mistake to begin slowing it down or hindering it,” said Korb about the reform underway. “Yes, maybe some things really should be reviewed — if we are talking about big changes, right now there is an agreement that all exceptions will be made on the level of the Government of the Republic, however if there are reasonable or justifiable circumstances which would allow for an exception to be made, then I believe that the exception will definitely be made.”
The main change the new coalition wishes to make is to increase the discretionary powers of local governments. “We want to increase local governments’ autonomy — give them additional tasks, responsibility and naturally resources as well,” said Korb.
Asked how the two parties, known for their often very opposing views, hoped to get along while working together in the new coalition government, Iva spoke encouragingly about their interparty relations. “I believe that we get along among ourselves very well, as this work aspect has always existed in the Riigikogu as well, even when one has been in the opposition and the other coalition, and we have also been in the opposition together,” she explained, adding that cooperation and relations between the two parties had always been good.
Korb agreed with Iva, citing recent coalition talks as an example of such cooperation and pointing out that these talks involved finding compromises suitable for very different points of view. "The most important goal is to work together, and confrontation certainly wouldn't help [achieve] this," noted the Center Party ministerial candidate.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla