SDE MP: Prime minister's energy crisis statement 'disappointing'

Riina Sikkut (SDE).
Riina Sikkut (SDE). Source: ERR

An opposition MP has called Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' (Reform) political statement made before the Riigikogu Tuesday "disappointing." Kallas addressed the ongoing energy price crisis in her speech.

The MP, Riina Sikkut (SDE), told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) Tuesday that: "The political statement we heard today was a complete disappointment."

"Much of the Prime Minister's statement sounded like a lecture to [economic affairs minister] Taavi Aas on what the state should do as strategic choices in energy policy," Sikkut, a former health minister and tipped as a potential future party leader, continued.

The sharp rise in energy prices which started last Autumn and has seen electricity and natural gas record prices set and re-set had been a shock to everyone, while not everyone will be able to shoulder such high costs.

Jaanus Karilaid, chair of the Center Party Riigikogu group, Reform's coalition partner, Center, told AK that: "The Center Party has repeatedly signaled over the past week that they want a more comprehensive and support package for businesses and also for private consumers."

"Unfortunately, the prime minister's statement did not focus on that," he added.

Much of the disagreement between Reform and Center on how to solve the crisis relates to shorter-term policy, he added, rather than long-range measures.

Kallas' Tuesday statement focused mostly on the latter, including focusing on renewables, particularly hydro-electric power, and also nuclear energy and co-generation plants.

Kallas, who had reportedly met with energy industry chiefs Thursday afternoon after leaving energy policy completely off the agenda at the regular cabinet meeting earlier that day, also said the current EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), also known as the CO2 quota mechanism, is in need of improvement.

The coalition council, comprising both parties, has met both on Monday and Tuesday this week, but has so far failed to reach substantive agreement.

Kallas also said that the period of low electricity prices prior to the crisis had engendered complacency when the need to conserve energy had not been a priority.

"But the truth remains that the cheapest electricity is electricity saved. That's why we need to look at how we can help people help themselves. That requires both energy-saving measures and measures to build small-scale production to meet our needs," he added.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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