Gallery: Estonia's new government takes office

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Estonia's new government was sworn in on Monday afternoon.

The 13 ministers from the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition government took the oath of office, one by one, in the Riigikogu.

This is Estonia's 53rd government since independence was declared in 1917.

Earlier in the day, President Alar Karis officially nominated the goverment following a ceremony at Kadriorg, the official presidential residence in Tallinn.

In the accompanying speech, the head of state said that governments have always reflected the voters, while in Estonia, coalitions rely on compromise – which he sees as a strength.

The president did, however, call on the coalition to make good use of impact analysis when drawing up policies.

"There must be impact analysis. Without that, you cannot justify the abolition of the VAT exemption for accommodation facilities, the increase in taxation on cars, and tax autonomy for the municipalities," he said, referring to three policies the incoming coalition has in the agreement it signed the Saturday before last.

Prime Minister-elect and Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas stressed a desire to work with Eesti 200 and the Social Democrats (SDE) for the full four years of the electoral cycle – which would, if it were to happen, buck the trend of two administrations (or in the case of the last electoral cycle, three) for each four-year period elapsing between Riigikogu elections.

Kallas said Monday: "This coalition agreement is a suite of compromises. We would like to make only those decisions which prove popular, but in order to move Estonia forward, making tough decisions is also required."


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

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