Free Party demands signing of Rail Baltic agreement be suspended ({{commentsTotal}})

Planned route of the Rail Baltic project.
Planned route of the Rail Baltic project. Source: (Latvian Ministry of Transport and Communication)

The council of the opposition Free Party found in its meeting on Saturday that the political decision-making regarding the planned high-speed Rail Baltic route was unfitting for democratic 21st century Estonia, and that the prime minister should not sign the international agreement concerning its construction next week.

The Free Party found that Rail Baltic’s public relations money has been used to disparage activists that had asked reasonable questions, and for what the party chose to call “a brutal one-sided propagandist attack”.

“A fair option to compensate for the expropriation of the land on the Rail Baltic route has not been found,” the party wrote in its position regarding the Rail Baltic agreement. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) received the agreement on Saturday.

The party wants the prime minister to hold off on signing the agreement between the Baltic countries until a solution has been found to compensate for the land to be expropriated.

The party wants all documents, decisions and analyses regarding Rail Baltic to be made public.

The Free Party’s position in joining the opponents of the railway project is in sharp contrast to the information published by Rail Baltic Estonia. According to the company, though legally all of the land transfers involved in the project are regulated by the same expropriation law, they expect 95 percent of all the transactions involved to be voluntary.

More than 60% of the territory crossed by Rail Baltic consists of agricultural land and forests, of which a lot is already in the possession of the state. The project’s coordinator at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Kristjan Kaunissaare, has said that based on previous experience, they expected no more 5% of all land transactions to end up in forced expropriation.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: BNS, ERR

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