Opposition: Motion of no confidence against government still to come

Martin Helme (EKRE) in focus, flanked by Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa) on the left and by Indrek Saar (SDE) on the right
Martin Helme (EKRE) in focus, flanked by Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa) on the left and by Indrek Saar (SDE) on the right Source: Siim Lõvi / ERR

Opposition party leaders say the government's energy compensation measures, announced on Thursday, are not enough and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is planning to go forward with a motion of no confidence against the government.

"We will certainly move forward with the motion of no confidence. The government is in a management crisis, having been unable to react to several previous crises. The prime minister (Kaja Kallas - ed) has shown she is incapable of learning," EKRE chairman Martin Helme told ERR on Friday.

Although EKRE has been vocal in their criticisms against Kallas, Reform Party's coalition partner Center has also been incompetent, Helme added. "The incompetence comes from both sides," he said.

EKRE's Riigikogu group chair Henn Põlluaas said the party does not think the coalition's proposed measures are a solution for the energy price crisis. "The entire idea of the situation is high energy prices and if we just compensate bills a little bit, it does not actually solve the situation. High energy prices have brought along the largest inflation rate in Europe and a significant price increase," Põlluaas said.

He said if the situation is not dealt with, Estonia can expect companies to go bankrupt, people to end up unemployed, along with a complete social and economic disaster.

"The government alleviated the situation temporarily, but we see no willingness to work on the actual reasons and taking energy prices down so that no one needs support. For this reason, we will move forward with the motion of no confidence," Põlluaas said.

He added that the motion of no confidence will likely be submitted next week.

Isamaa chairman: Coalition's package is lame

Isamaa Party chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder also criticized the government's measures, but added that no legislation has been presented yet. "When it comes to energy compensation and benefits, it is full of holes and lame. The initial explanation they gave does not satisfy us, at all," Seeder said.

"True, I must admit it is difficult to assess something that does not exist yet. We all know messages from the government, but there is no law," the Isamaa chair noted, adding that there is still a myriad of questions about the government's agreement.

"I looked at their comments last night and wondered how they gave everything final assessments, who approved what and who had criticisms. But we do not actually know what they agreed to," Seeder said.

He asked why the coalition chose a price ceiling for fixed-price contracts, which will leave most consumers out of the support scheme. "Will they begin compensating weekly prices or monthly prices - these will end up completely different based on consumers. We do not know how these will be assessed," Seeder said.

He also said the district heating support scheme is still confusing, which could mean that residents of more expensive houses that are heated with gas, could get state support, but a "shopkeeper living in an apartment building in Vändra will be left without any aid".

Seeder said a final assessment can only be given when legislation is approved. "We are currently commenting on initial comments made by government politicians. There is nothing else to comment," he said.

SDE chairman: People were deceived

The Social Democratic Party (SDE) was also critical of the government's measures, but party chairman Indrek Saar said no decision has been made regarding joining the motion of no confidence yet.

"I think many people awaiting solutions were actually deceived yesterday (on Thursday - ed)," Saar told ERR. "For gas, yes, the government went by the logic that we presented with our draft law. But they unfortunately only implemented it for gas and all the people worried about their electricity bills, this relief is more cosmetic for them," the SDE chair said.

He said the measures come with a new set of injustice, as people are being treated unequally based on the source of heating they have chosen. "I thought that decision was very irresponsible and it is disappointing that the government is making these decisions now," Saar said.

The SDE chairman said his party is still to discuss joining EKRE's motion of no confidence.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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