Reform Party could resort to filibustering family benefits bill

26.05.22 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas does not rule out use of obstruction tactics against coalition partner the Center Party's bill to hike family benefits.

Kantar Emor ratings: Government row did not add to Center popularity

26.05.22 NEWS ... The coalition Center Party's campaign to seek a family benefits hike and in doing so set itself in contrast with partner Reform has done them no favors in terms of popular support. Instead, the Reform Party managed to continue pulling ahead, the regular poll commission by ERR and carried out by Kantar Emor reveals.

Center whip: Center MPs united and committed to hiking family benefits

25.05.22 NEWS ... Center Party whip Jaanus Karilaid refutes claims of a split among Center MPs over family benefits amendments and a potential government collapse.

Opposition leader: Government has been irresponsibly fueling war hysteria

25.05.22 NEWS ... The Reform Party and the "deep state" have knowingly incited war hysteria to boost the popularity of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and her party, Martin Helme, chairman of the opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE), said. He believes Estonia should have stopped accepting Ukraine refugees a long time ago and help them in Ukraine instead.

Party ratings: Support for Reform continues to rise

25.05.22 POLITICS ... Support for the coalition Reform Party is still rising, according to a recent poll, while support for the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 party, in many ways a party which appeals to the same demographic as Reform, has continued do fall, after a strong showing at the start of the year.

Prime minister: Only Center can solve government crisis

24.05.22 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that because she has not caused the current government crisis, she cannot be the one to solve it. The ball is in the Center Party's court that must say it will not be taking the Family Benefits Act bill further and is willing to look for a solution to this problem and all others.

Minister: State budget can go into the red during a crisis

21.05.22 NEWS ... While the state budget could run at a loss for a few years, during a crisis period and in order to shoulder an increase in family benefits whose bill passed at the Riigikogu this week, this was not a longer-term good strategy, health minister Tanel Kiik (Center) says.

Energy bill support schemes may reemerge in fall

20.05.22 NEWS ... The government is considering repeating a support scheme for help with energy bills payment from next fall, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Thursday.

Paide mayor steps down due to health issues

20.05.22 NEWS ... The municipal government in the central Estonian town of Paide has resigned after the mayor, Siret Pihelgas, stepped down, citing health matters.

Government ties two more bills to confidence vote

19.05.22 NEWS ... While the Riigikogu only just voted on bills attached to a confidence clause, the government on Thursday decided to tie another two bills headed for their second readings to trust in itself.

Family benefits bill could be funded by raising taxes

19.05.22 NEWS ... Raising taxes to cover the €300 million family benefits bill has not been ruled out, Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Thursday.

Estonian MEP on oil embargo stalling: Hungary, others' conduct shameful

19.05.22 NEWS ... Hungary's blocking of the European Union's oil embargo against Russia is shameful, MEP Jaak Madison said on the ETV "Esimene stuudio" talk show, adding that Germany's stalling in addressing its Russian gas dependence is hardly commendable either.

Estonia's ambassador to the US: Biden rating on Ukraine war improving

19.05.22 NEWS ... The American public's opinion of President Joe Biden's efforts to aid Ukraine following its invasion by Russia has improved over time, Estonia's ambassador to Washington, Kristjan Prikk, says.

Riigikogu burns midnight oil to pass €878-million supplementary budget

19.05.22 NEWS ... A supplementary budget worth close to €900 million and issued in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine passed at the Riigikogu in the small hours of Thursday morning, by 54 votes in favor to 29 against.

Ratings: Support for Reform Party still rising

19.05.22 NEWS ... Support for the Reform Party is still rising, data from a new survey from pollsters Turu-uuringute AS shows. Over the last month support for EKRE, Eesti 200 and Center has fallen slightly.

Kallas requests energy price scenario forecast from economy minister

18.05.22 NEWS ... The prime minister has requested forecasts of electricity and natural gas prices over the coming year from economic affairs minister Taavi Aas (Center), and has also requested information on what measures will be taken to mitigate the price increase.

Reform, Center Riigikogu whips: Coalition will go on

18.05.22 POLITICS ... The Reform-Center coalition will continue in office, leading MPs from both parties said Tuesday, despite disagreements on a supplementary budget being processed at the Riigikogu and on a bill which would hike family benefits which Center tabled last week.

Norstat ratings: Center loses ground on week

18.05.22 NEWS ... Support for the coalition Center Party lost one point in the last week to land on 16.8 percent, the regular poll by NGO Institute for Societal Studies and Norstat Eesti reveals.

EP president: We need to help Ukraine today not in 10 years time

17.05.22 NEWS ... President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola visited Estonia on Friday and spoke with ETV's "Välisilm" about coronavirus, Russian energy and Ukraine's EU membership bid.

Coalition continues to discuss family benefits draft bill

17.05.22 NEWS ... Reform and Center will continue to discuss the draft family benefits bill which would raise payments by €300 million, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Monday after a day of negotiations.

Karilaid: We will tie supplementary budget to government confidence vote

16.05.22 NEWS ... Center Party whip Jaanus Karilaid told ERR that the coalition has decided to tie the supplementary state budget vote to confidence in the government.

Political scientist: Extraordinary elections would not benefit parties

16.05.22 NEWS ... Recent days' tensions in the coalition have raised the question of extraordinary elections. Political analyst Martin Mölder believes they would not benefit political parties at this time.

Reform, Center discuss how to move forward with family benefits bill

16.05.22 NEWS ... The coalition parties, Reform and Center, will hold discussions today to find a solution to disagreements arising from the draft family benefits bill which seeks to increase payments by €300 million.

Kallas requests time for discussing family benefits bill

16.05.22 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that the Reform Party supports hiking child benefits but wants more time to deliberate over changes proposed by the opposition and its coalition partner Center and find ways of paying of covering costs.

Four of five parties' MPs back boosting political finances watchdog powers

14.05.22 POLITICS ... Four of the five Riigikogu parties say, via their parliamentary whips, that they support a bill which would enhance the powers of party finances watchdog the political Party Funding Supervision Committee (ERJK).

Ratas: Family benefits bill was not meant to break up coalition

13.05.22 NEWS ... The bill submitted to the Riigikogu on Thursday seeking to increase family benefits by €300 million was not meant to break up the coalition — but it must still be passed, Jüri Ratas, speaker of the Riigikogu and leader of the Center Party said.

Supplementary budget bill going to second reading despite EKRE filibuster

13.05.22 POLITICS ... The bill which would enact a supplementary budget worth over €800 million and issued following Russia's invasion of Ukraine will go to its second Riigikogu reading, despite opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) issuing over 260 amendment proposals to the bill, a tactic the party openly admits is a filibuster.

SDE leader: Party is not a stop-gap coalition option ahead of elections

12.05.22 NEWS ... The opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) has no intention of deputizing for the Center Party in coalition with Reform, as a stop gap until next year's general election, the party's leader, Lauri Läänemets, says.

President Karis: If ultimatums replace cooperation, coalition cannot work

13.05.22 POLITICS ... Without trust and cooperation, the Reform-Center coalition cannot run the country, at a time of an international security crisis, President Alar Karis says.

Ratas: It is the prime minister's words which are ending the coalition

12.05.22 POLITICS ... The Center Party had no plans for a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), and the latter has in effect wrapped up its partnership in coalition with Center after remarks she made Thursday, Center's leader Jüri Ratas says.

Kallas: Man up and bring a motion of no confidence against me

12.05.22 NEWS ... The Center Party wants to break up the current coalition and form a new government with EKRE, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said at a press conference on Thursday, suggesting this is the motive behind a new bill for €300 million increase in family benefits. She said a vote of no-confidence should be held but her preference is that the coalition continues.

Center presents family benefits bill together with opposition

12.05.22 NEWS ... Center Party whip Jaanus Karilaid has entered into Riigikogu proceedings the Child and Family Benefits Act bill aimed at supporting children with families. The bill is missing the signatures of MPs of Center's coalition partner the Reform Party.

Rural affairs minister releases secretary-general from office

12.05.22 NEWS ... Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse (Reform) has released the ministry's secretary-general, Tiina Saron, from her post, agricultural weekly Maaleht reports.

Alexela board member: Company has not asked state for LNG terminal funding

12.05.22 NEWS ... Fuel retailer Alexela has not appealed to the state for taxpayer funded-support in constructing a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Paldiski, company board member Marti Hääl says.

Minister blocks scrapping of concert agreement with St. Petersburg church

11.05.22 POLITICS ... Culture minister Tiit Terik (Center) has rejected calls from concert organizing body Eesti Kontsert to terminate its long-term agreement with an Estonian Lutheran church in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Center's interest in sharp family benefits boost straining ruling coalition

11.05.22 NEWS ... The Center Party wanting to sharply and significantly increase the size of family benefits due to high inflation has given rise to speculation that its true intention is to break up the current ruling Reform-Center coalition. Center whip Jaanus Karilaid, however, said that the party's interest is genuine and that it's not worth seeking political intrigue in the effort.

Layoffs will not solve heritage board budget issues, says acting chief

11.05.22 NEWS ... Layoffs and structural changes at the state National Heritage Board (Muinsuskaitseamet) have not resolved all the issues they set out to, the departing acting head of the agency says.

Rigiikogu passes Aliens Act amendments unchanged

10.05.22 NEWS ... The Riigikogu passed the unchanged amendments to the Aliens Act on Monday after further discussion.

Ministry bill aims to expand party funding watchdog's investigative powers

09.05.22 NEWS ... The Ministry of Justice has submitted for a round of approval a bill of amendments to the Political Parties Act and the Credit Institutions Act aimed at expanding the investigative powers of the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee (EJRK).

Marti Kuusik acquittal enters into force

09.05.22 NEWS ... The Supreme Court rejected the prosecution's appeal in the criminal case of former minister Marti Kuusik, meaning that county and circuit court acquittals have entered into force.

Russian ambassador to Estonia summoned over foreign minister comments

09.05.22 NEWS ... The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the ambassador of the Russian Federation to condemn the embassy's statement on social media, which was an attempt to attack foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center).

Estonian MEPs in trouble with Strasbourg police

06.05.22 NEWS ... Estonian MEPs Riho Terras and Jaak Madison were involved in an incident in Strasbourg on Wednesday that culminated in the police intervening.

Center Party returns €843,000 illicit donation in full

05.05.22 POLITICS ... The Center Party has returned an illicit donation totaling €843,000. Center had been hit with the penalty in respect of campaign work provided for it by an outside supplier around a decade ago, and which had been found to constitute an illegal donation.

Prime minister: Press must be able to work freely

05.05.22 POLITICS ... Fines imposed on two journalists and their employer, Eesti Ekspress, are positive in the sense that the issue can now be examined in the courts, though the press must be able to work unhindered, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.

Former Estonian Greens chairman joins Eesti 200

05.05.22 NEWS ... Former Estonian Greens' Chairman Züleyxa Izmailova announced that she had joined the non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 on Thursday.

Justice minister: Media must not impinge on the workings of fair justice

05.05.22 NEWS ... The recent fining of two journalists and their employer over an article about alleged money laundering by former management employees of major lender Swedbank is a positive thing, justice minister Maris Lauri (Reform) says, as it opens up debate on what the media can and cannot cover.

Constitutional Committee supports Aliens Act amendments in current form

04.05.22 NEWS ... The Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee agreed to support amendments to the Aliens Act on Wednesday. Last month, President Alar Karis sent the bill back to parliament for further debate.

Finance minister waiting for colleagues' proposals for budget strategy

04.05.22 NEWS ... Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus is awaiting proposals for the state budget strategy from other ministries. Every minister can submit three applications in support of the coalition agreement and two additional applications for funding.

Party ratings: Reform, EKRE support stable, Eesti 200 loses more ground

04.05.22 NEWS ... Support for the Reform Party and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), still topping the rankings in Estonia, has not changed significantly. Support for Eesti 200, meanwhile, continues to drop, according to the results of a poll commissioned by the NGO Institute for Societal Studies and conducted by Norstat.

Center wooing Reform on energy bill VAT slash

03.05.22 POLITICS ... The Center Party says it wants to bring its coalition partner, Reform, over to the idea of reducing VAT on energy, even though a bill aiming to do that passed its initial Riigikogu reading without Reform's MPs voting in favor.
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