Martin Helme: Estonian society to be patched together under new coalition

EKRE leaders.
EKRE leaders. Source: ERR

According to Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) deputy chairman Martin Helme, even as his party is included in the new government coalition, Estonia will remain a free country in which human rights and the freedom of movement are respected, adding that the hysteria over their coming into power is malicious and unfounded.

"All of this talk about Nazism is embarrassing and stupid; it has lost all credibility whatsoever," Mr Helme said on ETV's Esimene stuudio on Tuesday night. "Estonian society will be patched together under this coalition, as we have very broad support."

He pointed out that there were tensions in US society following Donald Trump's election as president in 2016, and many American residents threatened to move to Canada.

"Moving — people, take some valerian now, I don't know," Mr Helme said. "We will stand for Estonia being such a free country."

The deputy chairman said that EKRE does not want a "mass Islamic invasion" of Estonia, adding that angry feminists and a number of other societal groups don't understand their demands.

"We are fighting to ensure that no war zones develop in our country like they have in Sweden, France and Germany," he explained. "Our message is that immigration must remain under our control."

Regarding the remarks recently shouted in public at Shmuel Kot, Estonia's chief rabbi, Mr Helme said that it's bad indeed when people are shouted at on the street.

"I have received threats as well, but where is [Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church] Urmas Viilma, why isn't he condemning this?" he asked. "Now they used a drunk fare-dodger who was just shouting."

He added that EKRE has nothing against Estonia's Jewish community, and noted that it is the only Estonian political party that has declared that Jerusalem must be Israel's capital.

EKRE victim of smear campaign

Mr Helme claimed that the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the Reform Party launched a smear campaign against EKRE after coalition talks with Centre and Isamaa began.

"Estonia's reputation is being smeared in the West in order to earn spots at the negotiation table themselves," he said, adding that they should be publicly punished for this.

According to the deputy chairman, coalition talks between the three parties are going well.

"Coalition talks are not on the verge of collapsing," he said. "We have had long work days. It wouldn't be reasonable for us to summon the media and report on our progress. We began with more peaceful topics and have moved on toward more complicated and difficult ones. There are certain matters on which we won't reach an agreement, and topics that we will be revisiting."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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