Kallas banking on Europe-wide solutions for soaring energy prices
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform Party) said on the "Esimene stuudio" political talk show that the government wants to help people cope with sky-high energy prices this winter. The PM had less to say when asked about support for businesses.
"The question is how to survive this winter without companies going bankrupt and people being forced to shiver in their homes," Kallas said.
The PM added that the government also wants to see solutions to bring down energy prices on the European level.
Untying the price of electricity from that of gas would be one possible solution. "The other thing being discussed is giving recent gas profits back to the consumer."
She also said that ways to reduce gas and electricity consumption should be sought.
Kallas did not support borrowing to support companies.
"In a situation where we have major companies with relatively few employees, it might be sensible to emulate other countries in having them suspend production to help all other companies by bringing the price down," the PM suggested.
"What Putin is betting on is the West not being able to weather the difficult winter. That we will give up, sanctions will be lifted and they will get away with it once again. Let's not give them the satisfaction. We can manage if we band together," Kallas said.
"We are trying to find those solutions on the government level, but nothing we might come up with will make everyone happy and all will have to be paid for by the taxpayer."
Host Mirko Ojakivi asked Kallas why Finland and Sweden can support their entrepreneurs but Estonia cannot.
"We are weighing our options, but there are few," the PM replied.
"We would like to introduce liquidity measures to survive these difficult times," she said.
Kallas added that the government has also considered something along the lines of Poland's CO2 quota measure. The latter is after freezing the quota price at €30 per ton.
The prime minister also said that the fact the difficult winter will be followed by Riigikogu elections will see a race for who can propose the simplest solutions in Estonia.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski