Chairman of the Riigkogu's Finance Committee Annely Akkermann (Reform) said it is hoped an agreement can be found to end the obstruction in the parliament next week, but a miracle may be needed.
On Thursday, the committee voted on the proposed amendments to the draft state budget for 2024 and none of the amendments submitted by the opposition parties were supported.
Akkermann told ERR it is impossible to negotiate so many amendments. EKRE has submitted more than 700 in a bid to stop the bill from passing.
"I suggested that they think again about withdrawing some of their hundreds of proposals and then negotiate the more important amendments. That is why the committee did not take the decision to send them to the Riigikogu yesterday," she said.
"Negotiations with opposition parties can still take place on a significant number of amendments," the MP added.
Isamaa and the Center are not participating in the obstruction and have submitted a significantly smaller number of amendments. However, Akkermann, said the finance committee looks at the opposition's proposed amendments as a whole and cannot support them either.
"Negotiating with Isamaa and the Centre Party does not reject these EKRE amendments, in that sense, you cannot go to the [Riigikogu] hall," she said.
Akkermann said discussions between political party leaders may still yield positive results.
"I think next week all the parties will be together in Toompea, maybe then. a miracle will happen," said Akkermann.
"As there are so many amendments, it is a time that party leaders try to agree which of the opposition's amendments can be supported by the coalition, and whether the rest will be withdrawn if so. I also know that Martin Helme and Kaja Kallas have met, but it was not a fruitful meeting. I asked Martin Helme yesterday if he wanted to withdraw or select some of them, and he did not," she said.
Up to 300 amendments can be voted on, Akkermann said. But there are currently more than 700 and they take too much time to process.
The state budget bill for 2024 has passed one reading so far.
EKRE Chairman Martin Helme said on Monday the party will continue to delay the adoption of the state budget and related bills until the extraordinary elections are called.
"There was another Norstat poll last week that said support for snap elections had increased slightly. 55 percent of Estonians think this is the solution to the political stalemate, we think so too. And that means that we are systematically working here in the Riigikogu to call for emergency elections," said Helme.
Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright