The Center Party will be cutting half a million euros from its budget in light of new suspicions of corruption, party chairman, outgoing PM Jüri Ratas said on Sunday.
"I had to present to the board a draft budget including appropriate and future-oriented cuts – saving of nearly half a million euros in all," Ratas said, describing figures that characterize the party's fiscal situation as "thought-provoking."
"We need to go over a lot of expenses, make cuts and difficult staffing decisions," Ratas said in a speech given during a party council meeting on Sunday. "Thank you desk officers, coordinators and bureau staff," he added. "The effects of these decisions are wide-ranging, while we had no other choice," the Center chairman admitted.
Ratas also emphasized the need to remove the shadow of corruption from over the party.
"The Center Party and corruption must not fit in the same sentence or even thought neither for the public or a single member of the party," he said. "We need to leave it behind to concentrate on our tasks. Otherwise, all of our ideas and plans become meaningless," he said.
Ratas also talked about preparations for the fall local elections, saying that Center plans to have candidates in all 79 local governments. The party will meet elections in the capital with Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart at the helm.
Talking about 2023 Riigikogu elections, Ratas said he would like for Center to achieve its best result yet.
Ratas thanked Reps
Ratas also thanked Center's deputy head Mailis Reps for leading coalition talks with the Reform Party. "Mailis Reps delivered us from an extremely difficult situation that could have sent us to the opposition for years. Now, we can continue to pursue our policy and face the elections from the coalition," Ratas emphasized.
Ratas also listed the achievements of his two governments and thanked the party, public servants and the Estonian people.
Editor: Marcus Turovski