Ratas: Postponing things indefinitely Reform's go-to move
Chairman of the Center Party Jüri Ratas said on the "Ringvaade" talk show that his experience suggests the Reform Party is reluctant to consider other parties' preferences and is always looking to get rid of things not to its liking.
The Center Party and Reform Party failed to find a compromise for executing the former's sharp family benefits hike when sharing a coalition. Reform wanted to avoid hurrying and spread the reform out over several years. Ratas suggested that overlooking partners' wishes in standard practice for Reform.
"The Reform Party will always propose postponing things until kingdom come. So as not to have to consider what matters to others," he said.
Ratas also criticized Prime Minister Kaja Kallas but said that Estonia has only one PM when asked whether he considers himself the better premier.
"It is a serious problem today that a certain person is clutching their chair, disbanding the [COVID-19] scientific council or the government when it suits her. On Wednesday, we heard from the PM that she also wants to dismiss the speaker. We have a parliamentary country and things don't work quite like that," Ratas said.
The Riigikogu president added that the current situation where the ruling party is filibustering a bill in the Riigikogu constitutes a first for Estonia.
Asked why he dislikes Kallas for prime minister, Ratas said it is not about what he likes or dislikes.
"Questions that are relevant for parties concern policies, principles and ideology. It is the Center Party's position that in the conditions of rapid inflation, several concurrent crises whether we are moving toward fiscal balance or not is secondary. What is primary is how we can support the coping of our people, society. That is the ideological difference between Center and Reform. I believe the political picture where Kaja Kallas simply discards seven Center Party ministers is clear enough – there is the Reform Party and Center Party as the only alternative, which is how it has been for decades," Ratas said.
Ratas added that despite Center's struggling rating, for which he is responsible as chairman, he will run for party chairman again in August.
The coalition of the Reform Party and Center Party collapsed after PM Kallas dismissed all seven Center ministers from government following Center siding with the opposition on numerous matters in the Riigikogu, chief among which a sharp family and child benefits hike that would put additional pressure to the tune of nearly €300 million on the state budget.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski