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Kallas: I hope government lasts until next elections

Kaja Kallas on  'Aktuaalne Kaamera'
Kaja Kallas on 'Aktuaalne Kaamera' Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said in an interview on "Aktuaalne kaamera" evening news, that she believes incoming ministers with little prior experience have the ability to succeed in their new roles. Kallas stressed that everything has been set out in the coalition agreement, and that there should be no surprises from the new government.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said in an interview on "Aktuaalne kaamera" evening news, that she believes incoming ministers with little prior experience have the ability to succeed in their new roles. Kallas stressed that everything has been set out in the coalition agreement, and that there should be no surprises from the new government.

The Prime Minister also confirmed the words of Minister of Economic Affairs Riina Sikkut (SDE) that the current electricity market reforms were temporary.

Do all these games now, in the end, seem worth the cost?

The important thing is that Estonia gets a majority government, and it got a majority government at such a difficult time as we are going through now, with the various crises we have going on – after that, there has to be stable government.

Looking at the different comments and opinions, there are two ways of viewing these (coming) eight months(before the next elections – ed). On the one hand, it is long enough to implement the points that are written in the coalition agreement and, on the other hand, it is short enough that no minister can appear to completely screw things up in his or her own area.  

Yes, you can look at it like that. When you meet the new ministers, everyone is very eager to get down to tackling the challenges that lie ahead. What is definitely positive is that everyone understands that the time until the elections is short, so we have to get started now.

Over the weekend, you were able to meet the new ministers, some of whom you have worked with before. But let's take Lea Danilson-Järg (Minister of Justice) and Kristjan Järvan (Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT )- what impressions did they make on you? What gives you reason to believe that they are good at what they do?

They left a nice impression. You have to give every person a chance. You are not born to be a minister, you become one the first time you sit in the minister's chair. Of course, it is good if you have previous experience, but I believe that people should be judged by what they do, and both of them have a great desire and will to contribute to the government and to do it well.

Let's take a very specific area. If we are talking about the management of a large organization, such as the Ministry of Justice, which is still a very specific area, it also requires a certain (amount of) authority. How, for example, should the new Minister of Justice (Danilson-Järg - ed.) establish herself, when there are already opinions being voiced from within the Estonian Bar Association (AKT) that they do not recognize her authority?

A person must be given the opportunity to prove and establish themselves. This is how these things are going to go, you can only be judged according to your actions. And a second important thing is, that the Ministry of Justice has a very strong department that helps to prepare and manage things.

Do you believe that this government will last eight months in its current form, or are you prepared for it to change again if necessary?

If there is a need to do so, it will certainly have to be done, but my hope is that this government will last until the next elections.

Riina Sikkut, Minister of Economic Affairs, said, that in her view the electricity market reform should be temporary. Is the health of the coalition still good, or are we seeing the first cracks, the first inconsistencies? Are you also surprised by new information (you receive)?

As far as the electricity market reform is concerned, we agreed that it would be temporary. It is temporary precisely to help us get through this difficult period. We have had nearly ten years in which we have enjoyed electricity prices, which are 40% cheaper than in central Europe. And that is thanks to the fact that we have had the Nordic power exchange (Nord Pool). That is why this baby must not be thrown out with the bathwater. Yes, for this difficult period we are looking at the possibility of universal service, so that people can control their expenditure. But it should be temporary.

Has everything in the new coalition now finally been agreed, so that what is written on paper can now be worked towards, rather than more new demands coming in, for example, when Isamaa recently started talking about compensation for firewood? Do you believe that (you) can now move forward in harmony?

Considering that these negotiations lasted for a month, all the issues have been more or less covered. So, really, this coalition agreement is what we agreed on and everything that is not in there, we will not do. (Even) if there are other ideas, we should still focus our energy on what is in the coalition agreement for the time being.

What are the most important things for each of the individual coalition members, you (Reform), the Social Democrats and Isamaa, to get done in the next eight months?

For us (The Reform Party - ed.), the reform of education in Estonian is very important. We will take clear steps towards ensuring that in 2024 education in Estonia will be in Estonian (language) and that people will no longer grow up in Estonia who do not speak Estonian. For the Social Democrats, it is important, of course, to raise the minimum threshold for income tax exemption, and (improve) people's livelihoods, just as it is for Isamaa.

But, perhaps now that we have formed this government, it is not the time to talk about what is more important to one party or another. What is truly important, is what this government does together.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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