Center's Tanel Kiik sheds light on opposition's compromise proposals
The Riigikogu opposition forces (Center Party, Isamaa and EKRE) plan to continue obstruction efforts in the parliament on Monday, following the coalition's rejection of the proposal to cancel the family benefits reduction, even though the opposition would have settled for no indexation of benefits.
Center Party MP Tanel Kiik told ERR that the opposition proposed a multistep solution on Friday evening. This would have seen the opposition agree to abolishing the indexation of benefits in line with the consumer price index if the coalition agreed to drop its plan of slashing the large family benefit.
"We begrudgingly agreed as benefits hikes would then be dependent on a government decision. But because indexation has not happened so far, it would not directly impact anyone's income," Kiik said.
The other problem was an amendment to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Act that would help avoid such impasses in the future. Kiik said that while the initial proposal was to make the changes for the next Riigikogu, the opposition eventually agreed to introduce the amendments this cycle.
According to Kiik, the opposition's third proposal concerned additional Riigikogu sittings for debating things like statements in support of Ukraine, listening to the annual report of the Bank of Estonia president etc.
The MP said that the coalition asked for time to ponder the proposals, while the opposition would have seen the Riigikogu Board of Elders meet over the weekend for progress to be possible Monday.
Kiik added that the compromise must involve concessions from both sides, and that the government agreeing to separate its "cluster" tax changes bill into four separate parts is ultimately a cosmetic change.
Ossinovski: The majority must be able to make decisions
Riigikogu whip of the coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) Jevgeni Ossinovski told the "Terevisioon" morning show that recent parliamentary practice makes it impossible for the current filibuster to be overcome.
"I hope the opposition will find a way to allow the parliament to return to work. It is not true that the coalition has not yielded anything – we separated the tax bills. We have agreed on finally passing the agenda this week, while it means little, as it is possible to go right back to interpellations and proposing new bills [filibustering]," Ossinovski said.
The SDE MP added that the coalition will convene to discuss the situation and the opposition's proposals late Monday morning.
"I find that the parliamentary majority must have the opportunity to make decisions even if the opposition disapproves. Even though a consensus must be sought. At this time, however, the parliament is disabled," Ossinovski remarked.
"If the question is whether the coalition is willing to introduce changes to its bills, the answer is yes. But let us have the debate after the first reading," Ossinovski suggested.
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Editor: Urmet Kook, Katrin, Viirpalu, Marcus Turovski