Government to link EU recovery fund bill to confidence vote

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A cabinet meeting in progress at the Stenbock House. Source: Stenbocki maja Flickr

On the proposal of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), the government will link the draft of the European Union recovery fund to a vote of confidence in the coalition.

The government approved the proposal on Thursday and will now ask the Speaker of the Riigiikogu Jüri Ratas (Center) to plan the second reading of the bill on May 10, a government spokesperson said.

EKRE has tabled almost 700 amendments to block the approval of the fund which aims to relaunch the economy after the coronavirus crisis.

Linking the bill to a vote of confidence in the government will make it possible to bypass a vote on the amendments. The coalition wants to adopt the reconstruction fund bill before midsummer (June 24).

The European Union agreed on the Recovery and Resilience Facility fund last year which has a total value of €672.5 billion. The European Commission has said Estonia will be allocated €970 million from the fund.

Põlluaas: We will not be able to use the people's money freely

Last month, head of EKRE Riigikogu group Henn Põlluaas told ERR the recovery fund principle sees the EU move toward federalization and that the package entails various dangers.

"We want the EU to remain a union of sovereign states and for decision-making capacity to remain in member state capitals, which is why we have introduced a host of amendment proposals," Põlluaas said.

"Every single euro will come with a tag. We will not be able to freely use the money where we most need it and will instead have to comply with the Commission's limitations and targets."

He added that because loan money is cheap, Estonia could borrow without EU mediation and on better terms.

Põlluaas also pointed to the risk of the Estonian taxpayer having to settle other member states' debts. "If some member states prove unable to service the common loan, the rest will have to pick up the tab."

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Editor: Helen Wright

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