Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said at a government news conference that the media industry's criticism of the VAT increase for press outlets is too excessive and called on them to consider that the media industry has a weapon that other interest groups do not have.
On Tuesday, ministers and leading politicians from the governing parties discussed possible savings and restructuring plans for the state budget. Kallas said that the meeting was not simple, but the ministers were determined to identify cost-cutting opportunities.
"It would not be possible to find hundreds of millions of euros in this way, but the government budget is in such a precarious state that every euro, and especially every million euros, that we are able to save is crucial. It is a well-known fact that one euro earned after taxation is worth sixty cents, but one euro saved is one euro saved," Kallas said.
Additionally, Kallas urged the media to consider their position when reporting on the increase in VAT for press publications.
"It is an exaggeration, in my opinion, to paint the replacement of the preferential VAT rate [for media outlets] of the past four years with a 9 percent rate as the end of the world and the end of democracy. I understand, dear journalists, that you wield a weapon that no other interest group has; politicians fear the media. And you are in a tricky position: on the one hand, you represent an interest group, while on the other, you also represent the situation as a whole. I believe, however, that we can resolve these issues collaboratively," she said.
Editor: Barbara Oja, Kristina Kersa