Ansip reiterates criticism of Kaja Kallas' energy crisis inaction

Kaja Kallas and Andrus Ansip chatting on European election night 2019. Ansip became an MEP, while Kallas had previously served as one,  2014-2019.
Kaja Kallas and Andrus Ansip chatting on European election night 2019. Ansip became an MEP, while Kallas had previously served as one, 2014-2019. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Reform MEP Andrus Ansip has doubled down on earlier criticism of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' (Reform) performance, particularly over the ongoing crisis with energy prices, daily Postimees reports.

Ansip, who was also a long-serving prime minister himself, told Postimees (link in Estonian) that: "I am surprised that everyone is saying the government's communication is poor, as there are no decisions being made. There is nothing to communicate. If there were decisions, these would probably be communicated."

Rectifying the situation should start with admitting mistakes had been made by the current administration, Ansip said.

"First of all, the errors made must be acknowledged. Then it will be possible to correct them. If it is always stated that Jüri Ratas, or EKRE, or Andrus Ansip, are to blame, then no improvement or major change can be expected," Ansip went on.

The current Reform/Center coalition entered office in late January this year, replacing the Center/EKRE/Isamaa coalition which had been in government since late April 2019. Ansip was Reform prime minister 2005-2014, and became an MEP after the May 2019 European elections.

One of the major outcomes of the handling of the current soaring energy prices had been a squeeze on the middle class and on business, he added.

He said: "The state should not treat its middle class and entrepreneurs without empathy. The state should refrain from over-enriching itself at the expense of the middle class," adding that he was in uncharacteristic agreement with businessman Indrek Neivelt on the matter.

Neivelt had said that the current, high electricity prices were "destroying" the middle class, while tax revenues were rising at the expense of the high prices.

Record electricity prices have been set several times since late summer, rising to a peak of €469 per MWh as an average daily rate earlier this month, twinned with record prices for natural gas.

Kallas and Reform have rejected a proposal to slash VAT on energy, from 20 percent to 8 percent, while current support measures which are in place through the winter are said to cost state coffers around €125 million.

Last month, Ansip told portal Delfi that Kallas was a "Mõisapreili" - a figure from Estonian history and essentially a lady of manorial leisure during the era of the Baltic German land barons, brought to an end by World War One and the Estonian War of Independence. Kallas herself has gone on record saying Ansip's bark is generally worse than his bite.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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