Former Reform prime minister and current MEP Andrus Ansip says that he would have preferred his party be in a 'corruption-free' coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa, but the latter has made this impossible.
Ansip said: "Of course I would have preferred a corruption-free coalition as a first option, which would comprise SDE, Isamaa and the Reform Party," Ansip told Vikerraadio show "Uudis +".
"But the Isamaa has been reticent, and their political attacks, their political-technological attacks in recent times, have also precluded the formation of that coalition," he added.
Ansip reiterated that cooperation with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) was off the table due to world-view differences and the party's divisiveness over the past two years it has been in office.
That the Center-EKRE-Isamaa coalition lasted as long as it had was a surprise, he added, given internal tensions, the issue of the now-scrapped marriage referendum, and the existing suspended sentence Center has to its name over an earlier illegal donation, before even getting to the latest Porto Franco real estate scandal.
Ansip also said that the outgoing coalition's monetary policy was at fault, since an incoming government must now attempt to relieve debt burdens the coalition – and the Center-Isamaa-SDE coalition which predated it – took on.
"It seems to me that financial discipline has not received the slightest attention in the last four years. It will certainly be difficult for the new government," he said.
Ansip was prime minister when the last economic crisis struck from 2007 onwards; austerity was the watchword during that era.
Along with the economy, restoring trust in society and trust of the government and breaking down division was the most important task for the incoming government, particularly in the wake of various outbursts while EKRE had been in office, particularly attacks on some of Estonia's near neighbors – Finland (whose prime minister was derided in late 2019 as a mere salesgirl by then interior minister Mart Helme), Lithuania (whose recent elections may have been rigged, according to Mart and Martin Helme) and Sweden (who, it is claimed, has been "lying" to Estonia for decades about the fate of the MS Estonia ferry), as well as the NATO alliance, which, Mart Helme said in late 2019, needed to be replaced with an alternative plan.
Andrus Ansip was prime minister 2005 to 2014.
Editor: Andrew Whyte