Estonia’s latest coalition government takes office

Estonia’s latest coalition government takes office

Estonia’s President Alar Karis appointed the country’s new coalition government comprising the Reform Party, Estonia 200 and the Social Democratic Party on Monday. The incoming Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and cabinet ministers subsequently took their oath of office at the Riigikogu, the 101-seat national assembly.

Reflecting on Estonia’s reliance on government by coalition, Karis stressed the importance of compromise. Whatever crises and challenges the new government might face, it was essential that the incoming administration take care to explain its decisions, no matter how “painful”. Smart people, he pointed out, appreciate and “understand honest talk. He cautioned that “spin creates defiance and resentment.”

The president urged the country’s latest coalition to be sure to rigorously assess the potential impact of its policy decisions. “Without an impact analysis, in my opinion, it is not possible to justify, for example, raising the VAT for accommodation facilities, changing the financing model of municipalities, the details of the car tax, or many other things that the new government coalition has already promised to write into the laws in the coming months or even the next few years.”

Prime Minister Kallas, whose Reform Party won a leading 37 seats, said she hoped to work closely with coalition partners Estonia 200 and the Social Democratic Party. “The coalition agreement is a bunch of compromises. We would like to make only popular decisions, but in order to move Estonia forward, it is also necessary to make difficult decisions,” she declared.

The swearing-in ceremony was boycotted by the far-right EKRE party “We found it inappropriate to come to congratulate a coalition that does not have a mandate for the things that are going to be implemented,” EKRE’s Henn Põlluaas declared.

Several members in the new government are without prior ministerial experience.


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