Reform Party leader: Aliens Act in its current form will be scrapped

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Kaja Kallas, flanked by Reform MPs Keit Pentus-Rosimannus and Kristen Michal on Friday, the core of the party's coalition negotiations delegation. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Aliens Act, the primary piece of legislation dealing with immigration into Estonia, will not continue in force in its current guise if a Center Party-Reform Party coalition becomes a reality, the latter's leader, Kaja Kallas, told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Friday.

Kallas made the comments at a press conference following day two of talks between her party and Center, whose delegation is headed up by former education minister Mailis Reps.

Kallas told AK that: "It is important to note that one of the topics also is the Aliens Act, which will definitely not go ahead in its current form," speaking in the context of investment and infrastructure improvements.

The Aliens Act saw proposed amendments last year which would have tightened up requirements for those coming from so-called third countries (a loosely-defined term referring mainly to non-EU/EEA countries, along with a few other nations such as the U.S. and Japan; according to Reform MEP Siim Kallas, the U.K. has joined the list of third countries-ed.) both to work and study.

At the same time, the proposed amendments, now likely a moot point, have seen plenty of misinformation circulating, and the country's digital nomad visa scheme, rolled out during the outgoing Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition of 2019-2021, remains in place at the time of writing.

What the Aliens Act or equivalent legislation might look like in the future, Kallas did not say; the bulk of negotiations, at day two on Friday, looked at taxation and infrastructure issues.

The current legislation is here.

Other scrapped legislation following the resignation of Jüri Ratas (Center) as prime minister earlier in the week includes the marriage definition referendum, which will now not take place.

The Kallas-Reps/Reform-Center talks are ongoing. While Kallas, appointed to form a new coalition by President Kersti Kaljulaid, has nearly two more weeks to do so, the pandemic situation means a deal is likely to be struck sooner. This would then need to be voted on at the Riigikogu and, if it passed, only formalities would be left in setting up a new Reform-Center coalition.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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