Kristen Michal, the newly-announced Reform Party candidate for mayor of Tallinn, said that the capital city needs to be the driving force of Estonia as the way the city is currently being governed hinders its development and a change for the better is unavoidable.
"Tallinn is a city of the future," Michal said, introducing the Reform Party's local election program. "The main question in the fall election is clear — it will be a vote of no confidence against the Center Party government. Tallinn needs to be the driving force of Estonia's development — a modern and developing city for entrepreneurs and working people, a safe home for families with children and the elderly, where household money will not go missing and trash will not be swept under the carpet."
Michal said that the program's central issues include fully Estonian-language education, the welfare of the elderly and families with children, modern transport connections and transparent governance.
"In Estonia, the education system dependent on the taxpayer must be in the Estonian language beginning in kindergarten," said Michal. "The Estonian language is not a foreign language in education, as it seems to be for the Center Party. Fluency in the official language [of Estonia] will create equal opportunities for success for all children. This is not pettiness coming from Estonian-speaking people; more than 70 percent of Russian-speaking parents are in favor of Estonian language learning from kindergarten onward."
According to Michal, the aim of the Reform Party is to decrease the financial burden of parents in Tallinn, overhaul kindergartens and sporting grounds, support children in their hobbies and motivate teachers.
On the subject of transport, Michal highlighted the idea of a fixed connection between Tallinn and Helsinki, building new bike roads and constructing tram lines from the city center toward the districts of Mustamäe, Õismäe, Pirita and Lasnamäe.
In a program aimed toward the elderly, Michal said that the Reform Party is planning measures to offer better healthcare and care, build a new hospital and continue the annual support of pensioners. In addition, the Reform Party wishes to introduce a special card for the elderly entitling them to a discount when taking part in cultural events.
Editor: Aili Vahtla