Coalition-to-be will have to address healthcare funding challenge

25.03.23 NEWS ... Since the Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa) budget is set to be in the red to the tune of around €100 million next year, the embryonic Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition cannot put off the healthcare issue further, and indeed is set to discuss this next week, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Friday.

Kadri Simson: Center Party under Kõlvart could get too Tallinn-centric

24.03.23 NEWS ... Center Party member and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson says she trusts incumbent party chair Jüri Ratas, adding that there is a risk that the Center Party under newly announced challenger Mihhail Kõlvart's leadership could end up too Tallinn-centric.

Toompea Castle prepares for arrival of the XV Riigikogu

24.03.23 NEWS ... Work is ongoing to prepare Toompea Castle for the incoming XV Riigikogu composition, with some parties having to move offices, due to a return to a six-party parliament.

Prime minister: Ukraine EU artillery shell procurement shows Estonia heeded

24.03.23 NEWS ... The speed with which a procurement of up to a million artillery shells to be sent to Ukraine was put in place at European Union level is both demonstration of the union's commitment to Ukraine and that Estonia's proposals are taken seriously, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.

Center's Lauri Laats quitting as Mustamäe elder to take up Riigikogu seat

24.03.23 NEWS ... Mustamäe district elder (Linnaosavanem) Lauri Laats (Center) has said he will take up a Riigikogu seat, rather than retain his city government post, which he has held for the past four years.

Läänemets urging municipal leaders to wait on school closure decisions

23.03.23 NEWS ... Minister of the Interior and Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Lauri Läänemets urged local government leaders on Thursday to postpone any decisions about school closures at least until Estonia's next government coalition is formed.

Nascent coalition would double renewables micro-producer capacity ceiling

23.03.23 NEWS ... The coalition-in-waiting says it wants to double the maximum volume of electricity generated to qualify as a micro-producer, in order to encourage more people to go down this route.

Kohtla-Järve city council finally votes in budgetary cuts

23.03.23 NEWS ... Long-anticipated budget cuts in the eastern Estonian city of Kohtla-Järve have finally become a reality after being voted in at the city council chambers Wednesday.

Estonia to press for further pressure on Russia at top-level EU meeting

23.03.23 NEWS ... Estonia's priorities ahead of a meeting of European Union heads of state and government are to continue to raise the stakes for Russia as it prosecutes its war on Ukraine.

Center Party supporters emerge for both Ratas and Kõlvart as next leader

23.03.23 NEWS ... Battle lines appear to be getting drawn around two camps within the Center Party, those who support Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart as a potential new party leader, and those who pledge loyalty to current leader Jüri Ratas, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Wednesday.

Tallinn city government opposes Isamaa Russian high school name change idea

23.03.23 NEWS ... Isamaa's Tallinn city councilors have proposed removing the word "Russian" from the names of five high schools across Tallinn. The Center Party-dominated city government opposes the idea.

Tallinn Deputy Mayor Tanel Kiik to return to the Riigikogu

23.03.23 NEWS ... Center Party deputy leader Tanel Kiik says that he will return to sit in the Riigikogu, once it convenes. Kiik has been a Tallinn Deputy Mayor since last September, and had previously stated he intended to continue in that post until the next local elections, in 2025 ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Wednesday.

MP Anastassia Kovalenko-Kõlvart joins the Center Party

22.03.23 NEWS ... Riigikogu member Anastassia Kovalenko-Kõlvart has officially joined the Center Party, ERR reports.

Jaanus Karilaid: I'm Ratas' man

22.03.23 NEWS ... Center Party deputy head Jaanus Karilaid said that Mihhail Kõlvart running for party chairman was to be expected as he has been at odds with current leader Jüri Ratas for some time.

Isamaa leader: Party must ditch 'evil' image, distance self from EKRE

22.03.23 NEWS ... Isamaa needs to ditch is image as an "evil" protest-party in order to improve on its relatively poor showing at the March 5 Riigikogu election, the party's leader, Helir-Valdor Seeder, says.

Kõlvart to run for Center chair

22.03.23 NEWS ... Deputy chairman of the Center Party, Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart has decided to run for chairman at Center's upcoming extraordinary congress.

EKRE and Center losing, Eesti 200 and SDE gaining supporters

22.03.23 NEWS ... Aggregate results of the regular poll by the Institute for Societal Studies and Norstat suggest that the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and the Center Party are losing ground, while Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) are coming up.

Ratas to propose convening extraordinary Center Party congress

22.03.23 NEWS ... Chairman of the Center Party, which lost big in the March 5 general election, Jüri Ratas will make a proposal to the party's council to convene an extraordinary congress on April 15.

Future coalition wants to abolish nationwide free public transport scheme

21.03.23 NEWS ... Politicians discussed the abolition of the nationwide free public transport scheme on Tuesday and the creation of a new national cycling strategy. This will not affect Tallinn's free transport policy.

Kõlvart in favor of convening Center congress in the near future

21.03.23 NEWS ... Center Party deputy head, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart said he is in favor of the proposal of convening the party's congress sooner rather than later to discuss Center's failure at Riigikogu elections. The party's regular congress was scheduled for middle of 2024.

Kantar Emor ratings: Eesti 200, SDE support rises, Isamaa's falls

21.03.23 NEWS ... The Reform Party remains most-supported in Estonia, followed by Eesti 200, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Center Party, according to a recent survey.

Marriage equality will be discussed at end of coalition negotiations

20.03.23 NEWS ... Marriage equality and the Registered Partnership Law's implementation acts will be discussed by politicians at the end of the coalition negotiations.

Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition would make education mandatory up to age 18

17.03.23 NEWS ... The nascent coalition government in Estonia has announced that it wants to make education in Estonia compulsory, up to the age of 18. Up to now, education in Estonia is mandatory only to the end of basic school (Põhikool) level, which students complete at age 16 in the main.

Culture minister hopes to receive Sildna Shiftworks answers in near future

17.03.23 NEWS ... Minister of Culture Piret Hartman (SDE) says that she expects a full audit of the use of public funds by a company which organizes some of Estonia's largest popular music events to be presented "in the near future".

Eesti 200 took in major donations immediately before and after elections

17.03.23 NEWS ... Eesti 200 that landed 14 mandates in the new composition of the Riigikogu received sizable donations immediately before and after Estonia's March 5 general elections the largest of which came from the party's own Joakim Helenius.

Läänemets: SDE will be balancing element in planned government

17.03.23 NEWS ... The Social Democratic Party (SDE) will be a balancing element to the planned government coalition's two more right-wing parties, SDE chair Lauri Läänemets said in an appearance on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" Thursday night.

Tallinn deputy mayors yet to decide whether to take up Riigikogu seats

16.03.23 NEWS ... Two weeks after the Riigikogu elections, Tallinn deputy mayors from the Center Party deputy, who were successfully elected now have a decision to make – whether to make the move to Toompea or continue their work in the city.

'Esimene stuudio': Coalition negotiators so far undecided on state finances

16.03.23 NEWS ... Representatives of the three parties currently undergoing coalition negotiations appearing on ETV Wednesday night did not clearly state whether tax rises, or cuts, were on the horizon, nor did they clarify what cuts and where will be made to address the current state budget deficit.

Finnish president: Turkey may approve NATO application on Friday

16.03.23 NEWS ... A recently announced imminent official trip by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to Turkey suggests Ankara may give the go-ahead to Finland's NATO accession application as early as the end of this week, Finnish public broadcaster Yle reports.

Foreign minister calls for halving of US$60 Russian oil price cap

16.03.23 NEWS ... The European Union should cut in half the current US$60 per-barrel price cap on Russian crude oil, as soon as this month, in order to squeeze further Moscow's ability to sustain financially its war in Ukraine, outgoing Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says, as reported by Bloomberg.

MEP Marina Kaljurand not taking up Riigikogu seat

16.03.23 NEWS ... MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE) says she will not take up her Riigikogu seat, and will remain a member of the European Parliament. Tallinn Zoo director Tiit Maran will take her place as alternate member.

Gallery: Possible coalition planning on ditching 'protection money' scheme

15.03.23 NEWS ... The Reform Party, Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), who have been in talks since last Wednesday for the formation of a government coalition following the 2023 Riigikogu elections, plan to lose a controversial scheme of parliamentary party-allocated regional investments in Estonia's annual state budget — popularly known as protection money.

Former Covid scientific council chief Irja Lutsar rules out ministerial job

15.03.23 NEWS ... Professor Irja Lutsar, the virologist who headed up the government's coronavirus advisory council during much of the pandemic, becoming a highly visible figure in the process, has ruled out being Estonia's next health minister.

Top Estonian state officials set for 14 percent pay rise from April

15.03.23 NEWS ... From April 1 this year, the monthly salaries of Estonia's top state officials, including the president, Riigikogu speaker, prime minister and the chief justice of the Supreme Court, will rise by 14 percent from €7,303 to €8,318.

Sester and Šorin observing parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan

15.03.23 NEWS ... The Head of the Estonian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Sven Sester (Isamaa) and member of the delegation Marko Šorin (Center) are on an observation mission in Kazakhstan where early parliamentary elections will be held on Sunday.

Party ratings: Eesti 200 up to second place on weekly basis, EKRE to fourth

15.03.23 NEWS ... Eesti 200 has risen to second-most supported political party in Estonia, according to a recent survey, and when based solely on the week immediately following the Riigikogu election on March 5, suggesting that success breeds success.

President Karis: Estonia supports Georgia's European path

15.03.23 NEWS ... President Alar Karis has expressed his support for efforts on the part of Georgia to achieve European Union candidate status, and expressed this to his Georgian opposite number, Salome Zourabichvili.

Eesti 200 leader: Coalition would appoint Ida-Viru County representative

15.03.23 NEWS ... The prospective new coalition government will appoint a special representative to Ida-Viru County, the leader of one of the parties involved in the talks announced Tuesday.

Electoral committee rejects United Left Party and EKRE election complaints

14.03.23 NEWS ... The National Electoral Committee rejected 2023 Riigikogu elections complaints it discussed at its Tuesday meeting, committee head Oliver Kask told ERR.

Taavi Rõivas concurs on Andrus Ansip's European Commissioner vision

14.03.23 NEWS ... Former Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas says he agrees with an assessment from his own immediate predecessor, current MEP Andrus Ansip, who said that the next European Commissioner should have extensive experience in executive office. Rõivas ruled himself out of the post, or any return to politics, at this time, however.

Ministry plans bill to use frozen Russian assets in Ukraine compensation

14.03.23 NEWS ... Planned legislation which, if it were to pass at the Riigikogu could allow Ukrainian war damages to be compensated for from the proceeds of frozen assets of Russian origin, could set an example to the rest of Europe, it is hoped.

Politico: European Commission investigating Henrik Hololei Qatar flights

14.03.23 NEWS ... The European Commission is conducting an internal investigation into whether Henrik Hololei, its Director General of the EU's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, was in violation of EU rules when he greenlit his own flights to Qatar, flights which were paid for by that country or organizations linked to it, news portal Politico reports.

Gallery: Monday coalition talks span Ukraine, hate speech, cartel-busting

13.03.23 NEWS ... Coalition talks between the Reform Party, Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) continued on Monday, this time with a focus on foreign policy and justice. Speaking at a press conference, party representatives confirmed significant common ground on issues ranging from Ukraine support and economic diplomacy to making hate speech punishable and boosting competition oversight.

Expert: Parties forgot lessons from integration programs in Ida-Viru County

13.03.23 NEWS ... The recent Riigikogu election results in Narva, Ida-Viru County came as something of a surprise to many Estonians, with 44 percent of voters choosing protest candidates, who are well known for being pro-Kremlin. According to integration expert Irene Käosaar, the results reflect the fact, that political parties failed to apply the positive lessons learned from integration-promoting initiatives over the years.

Türi replaces coalition after three months in office

10.03.23 NEWS ... The local government in Türi, Järva County, only remained in office for three months after both mayor and council chair were replaced Thursday, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reports.

SAPTK wins court case against political scientist

09.03.23 NEWS ... Varro Vooglaid, Markus Järvi and the Foundation for the Protection of Family and Tradition (SAPTK) have finally won a court case against political scientist Florian Marcus Hartleb and do not have to pay him damages. However, Hartleb is required to pay Vooglaid €300 for calling him a "fascist."

Minister: Abolishing free public transport not a magic solution

09.03.23 NEWS ... Estonian Minister of the Environment Madis Kallas (SDE), whose party is currently involved in coalition talks over the formation of a new government, does not believe that abolishing free public transport is the way to make the savings required to balance the state budget.

Finland goes to the polls next month

09.03.23 NEWS ... While Estonia has just had a Riigikogu election, with coalition negotiations to form the next government ongoing, Finland, too, will soon have an election to its parliament, the Eduskunta/Riksdagen, and the parallels between the two are fairly striking.

Lawyer: Riigikogu election e-vote unconstitutional, and cannot be counted

09.03.23 NEWS ... Lawyer Paul Keres, acting for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in their Supreme Court appeal in which they request the invalidation of the e-vote results at last Sunday's Riigikogu election, outlined the content of the complaint to ERR's radio news Thursday.

EKRE appeals e-vote result at Supreme Court

09.03.23 NEWS ... The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has appealed Sunday's Riigikogu elections e-vote result with the Supreme Court, requesting the results be annulled.
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