Following independent MP Tiina Kangro's announcement that she was quitting the Pro Patria parliamentary group, leaving the government coalition with just 50 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu, Prime Minister and Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas on Monday said that the coalition would get by with 50 votes as well, and that the state budget currently in the works would be confirmed.
How would you comment on this situation, in which the government coalition is now in the minority in the Riigikogu?
The government coalition will certainly keep working. The Social Democrats (SDE), the Pro Patria Party and the Centre Party stand for life in Estonia being carried forward. We will continue to stand for our coalition agreement and action programme.
Our biggest and most fundamental document, i.e. the state budget, is in the Riigikogu. I am absolutely convinced that there is more support in the Riigikogu for the state budget than just coalition MPs, even in today's situation.
Will this government coalition definitely last through the end [of the current term]?
The question isn't whether the government coalition will stay together through the elections, but rather that the government coalition has to be active and hardworking. It has to command trust and has to act. And stand every day for its decisions to stand for Estonia and the people of Estonia. And if the government coalition no longer has that, i.e. the motivation to make decisions, then there is no point to the government coalition.
Today we still possess all these traits, and we will continue working daily.
Will you have to start taking the opposition into account more?
This is a matter of political culture. The more comprehensive we can be, the better. And the fact that the opposition is heard and they are involved is not a bad thing at all.
Did Tiina Kangro's decision come as a surprise?
Yes, I didn't know about it.
Editor: Aili Vahtla