On Friday, the Estonian Car Owners' Association symbolically handed over a "No to car tax!" petition to Riigikogu Speaker Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200). 77,442 digital signatures were collected in the petition, which opposes the introduction of a much-discussed new car tax in Estonia.
The board of the association, which was formed this May, arrived at Toompea in a Ford Model T. The vehicle is part of the LaitseRallyPark collection, and was produced between 1908 and 1927. The model T was the world's first mass-produced passenger car.
The association also gave Hussar a yellow maple leaf and a gear stick. According to Simmo Saar, a member of the association's leadership board, the yellow maple leaf symbolizes the strength of the 77,442 signatures in opposition to the much-discussed car tax, as well as the nature of the current government coalition.
"The government is still fresh, so the maple leaf is a signal for them to think and take their time instead of rushing. At the same time, the yellow color clearly indicates that two thirds of the coalition is old, or outdated - after all, both the prime minister's party (Reform – ed.) and the Social Democratic Party had governmental responsibilities in the previous government," Saar said.
Saar added that the yellow maple leaf also carries a strong cautionary message. "This maple leaf in the color of the prime minister's party, represents a yellow card. If an additional car tax is introduced, it will be rewarded with a red card from the voters, or in other words a spell in opposition, starting in 2027."
The old gear stick has a diagram depicting four forward gears and one reverse gear. "The Riigikogu has four years, or four gears. The car tax is the thing that now requires the use of the reverse gear," Saar said.
Editor: Michael Cole