Estonian Greens chair Züleyxa "Zuzu" Izmailova says that insolvency is not an option for her party, despite the party's secretary general previously saying that liquidation would be possible within the year.
In the face of mounting debts, the Party Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK) recommended the party file for bankruptcy last week. The ERJK had already issued a €500 precept for non-payment of long-term debts, which the committee said constituted illicit donations; the party's total debts are reported at €46,000.
However, Zuzu Izmailova said that the move would solve nothing.
"Bankruptcy will not solve our creditors' concerns," the Greens leader wrote on the party's own website.
"We work within new agreements, and we will pay off the debts. The ERJK might instead focus instead on political parties who live off money which comes from the people, and leave the greens in peace until we are treated by the commission on an equal footing to all the other parties," Izmailova continued.
Izmailova's argument is that the larger, represented parties receive state subsidies funded by the taxpayer, in proportion to their size (ie. the parties with the highest number of seats, meaning Reform and Centre, get the largest subsidies), thus setting up a vicious circle, as these parties tend to do well in elections and get their deposits back, whereas the Greens lost theirs.
Izmailova said the Greens had to pay €62,500 in deposits at the election (whether she was referring to the March 3 general election, or the May 26 European election, or both, was not reported) which they would have needed to reach the 5 percent threshold to recoup. Since the Greens polled 1.8 percent at the general election, the party lost its deposit in addition to not getting any seats.
"For years, parties that have been receiving support from the state or the taxpayer, get returned to parliament again and again at the elections, and are reimbursed by the state, but by not us," Izmailova said.
Izmailova added that borrowing from the bank is not realistic either, preferring donations. She added that if every member paid up their party membership dues, the debt issue would be solved.
Following the ERJK communique, from the committee chair Liisa Oviir (SDE), Greens Secretary General Joonas Laks said the party would be able to liquidate within a year.
Editor: Andrew Whyte