Kallas and Läänemets: Meeting with Isamaa in good spirits

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Reform, Isamaa, SDE met on June 8, 2022 to find common ground between the parties.
Reform, Isamaa, SDE met on June 8, 2022 to find common ground between the parties. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Prime Minister and Reform Party head Kaja Kallas said after a meeting with delegations from Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on Wednesday that her party remains optimistic in terms of forming a new coalition with Isamaa's involvement. SDE leader Lauri Läänemets echoed the sentiment, adding that there is little reason to doubt a Reform-SDE-Isamaa coalition being formed.

"The meeting progressed in good spirits. It is up to Isamaa to say who they will pick, but I hope they will make a positive decision because it really was an excellent meeting sporting a constructive atmosphere and hope to reach agreement," the PM said.

"I remain moderately optimistic, while it is up to Isamaa who they will choose," Kallas added, suggesting the council of Isamaa is set to deliberate on Saturday. "But it seems we can move on together on major issues," Kallas noted.

The PM said that the parties did not go into detail but pointed out where Reform and Isamaa found common ground.

"For example, Estonian language education, on which topic we spent a lot of time, also matters a great deal to us. Isamaa wants more ambition and faster progress there, and I believe there is also quite a bit of common ground here with SDE. That is the sense I came away with today," Kallas said. "We are prepared to be more ambitious than the previous government's proposed primary education bill," the PM suggested.

Asked about slashing consumption taxes, which is something Isamaa have sought, Kallas said it was not discussed in so much detail, while people's subsistence in the conditions of current inflation is something the cabinet will have to address. "The question is which solutions to deploy to help people. We have always wanted to offer purposeful support, aim it where it is really needed. But it is one area where we must look for a compromise," the premier added.

"It is clear that energy is one problematic field, and we must look for ways to help people moving into fall," the Reform leader said.

Läänemets: A positive meeting

"Let us say the atmosphere was surprisingly positive," Läänemets told ERR after the meeting. "I would say there were no fundamental differences here today. Therefore, it seems to me there is little reason to doubt this coalition could be formed."

The SDE chairman said parties started by mapping out their core topics and visions. "Once we got there, no major disagreements had surfaced," he remarked.

Asked about the most complicated topic, Läänemets pointed to energy prices and cost of living. "One thing is that we all agree we need to do something. But who should get how much etc. - I believe that is the greatest challenge."

Läänemets said that SDE would like to introduce an energy price ceiling. The Social Democrats also tabled the question of what will happen to Estonian entrepreneurs in a situation where inflation in Estonia is double that in the EU.

The chairman also highlighted the need to raise the lowest salaries. "This could require tax changes or something along those lines. We will be discussing these things should negotiations be launched," he said.

Isamaa will meet with four Riigikogu parties this week to decide whether to launch talks for a new ruling coalition with the Reform Party and SDE or with the Center Party and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE).


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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