Seeder: Coalition partners find more common ground on key issues
During coalition talks on Tuesday, more common ground was found between the three parties involved on key issues, Isamaa leader Helir-Valdor Seeder told ERR.
"On a number of issues, we came closer together. We also found more common ground on key issues: the electricity market reform, the transition to Estonian-language education and the draft Family Benefits Act," Seeder said.
In response to a comment by Lauri Läänemets, leader of the Social Democrats, that negotiations on Monday had mostly focused on the concept of 'social electricity', Seeder said that Isamaa's goal is still a concrete reform of the electricity market.
The SDE favors 'social electricity' policies aimed at compensating for soaring prices, particularly for the lowest-income customer groups.
"The reform of the electricity market is substantive, and will entirely reorganize sales and market relations. We reached a very high degree of consensus on Tuesday, so to a large extent, I hope that if we can clarify the remaining details in the next few days, we will be able to say that this reform has been approved by the coalition. The Social Democrats' 'social electricity' is a nice pet name for the output that should result from cheaper electricity reaching Estonian consumers," Seeder said.
According to Seeder, the way consumers will be compensated for so-called CO2 quotas is still being worked out.
In relation to family benefits, discussions are still ongoing regarding the size of third-child allowance and the indexation of family allowances, Seeder said.
Seeder did not want to predict if, or when, a coalition agreement would be reached, despite the progress made in negotiations. The SDE and Isamaa parliamentary groups both held meetings on Tuesday evening to discuss the latest round of negotiations, while the Reform Party parliamentary group will meet on Wednesday morning before a special session of the Riigikogu, Seeder added. Coalition talks are expected to resume on Wednesday.
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Editor: Michael Cole