What do you think of the coalition agreement? Should we start with the positive, the articles that EKRE likes?
Well, the increase in child benefit is definitely good news. We see this as a demographic measure, and we have to realize that without Estonians, without the birth of new Estonians, all other activities are ultimately meaningless. So it’s a good thing that they included the benefits.
Speaking of pain points, I am very critical in three aspects. The first is that there will be no real reform of the electricity market. On the contrary, we are still being told that all of our energy will come from wind and solar by 2030, which is an absurd and totally unachievable goal. This can only mean that electricity will continue to become more expensive.
What they call a reform of the electricity market could have been achieved with a decision by the government or the Ministry of Finance last fall, ordering [national energy company] Eesti Energia to introduce a fixed price package. This is not something called reform. In any case, this is not enough – the electricity and energy crisis is much deeper and more serious. Especially when it comes to gas, I think we are expecting very rough seas.
National defense is the second aspect that worries me. Nothing has been added to what we are told since the start of 2022 or the war in Ukraine. And yet, we do not have a single government document, decision to flesh out these claimed goals. We haven’t really taken the decision to acquire air defence, we haven’t replaced the weapons given to Ukraine, while the Ministry of Defense talks about a very long time horizon when asked when these weapons and ammunition replacements might take place.
Therefore, the whole side of national defense is still made up of slogans and propaganda that hide exceptional activities. Estonia’s defense is weaker than it was in January as we surrendered arms and ammunition, as well as sacked high-ranking officers due to the coronavirus and lack of proper postings. Thus, the national defense situation is truly dire.
We haven’t received anything either. [the NATO summit in] Madrid. Nothing more than the reaffirmation of friendly relations with the Baltic countries. Another serious concern.
And the third aspect that troubles me is the multicultural part of the agreement. This obviously betrays the ideological cramp of reformists and social democrats – the diversity and promotion of other peoples, languages and cultures in Estonia. This is not the goal of the Estonian state. The aim of Estonia is to promote Estonianness.
Are you referring to the part about Ukrainians?
Not only that. There are several promises on how we will foster diversity in Estonia. A clear ideological position.
Let’s talk about ministers. What do you think and with how many people have you had contact?
I believe that the Estonian people have been punished collectively in the person of our new Minister of Economy (SDE’s Riina Sikkut – ed.). It’s quite a disaster. And it is not a hazard. I interpret it as the Reform Party acting like a black widow spider that eats its mate after copulation. SDE has grappled with one of the toughest portfolios and has, in its infinite wisdom, endowed it with one of its weakest members.
Do you mean that the Minister of the Economy will have to resign this winter, whoever holds the position?
It is not like that ! With clear political will and administrative capacity, all crises in Estonia can be significantly mitigated. This would have already been possible, when the necessary will, capacity and even political agreement did not exist.
It’s clear that Riina Sikkut is being turned into a lightning rod to absorb whatever goes wrong this winter. Just as the Social Democrats have grappled with the issue of forests through the environment portfolio. Because no matter how you solve this problem, you will have half of society against you. I believe the Reform Party failed to trap its coalition partner in this way.
What about the Isamaa ministers?
When it comes to the Isamaa ministers, it seems painfully obvious that they simply cannot allow their MPs to join the government because that would bring in too many alternate members who left or were expelled and found themselves on the losing side party. -house fights. That’s why they are what they are.
But what about the ministers themselves? Like the architect of the pension reform, which EKRE fiercely supported (candidate for the post of Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Kristjan Järvan – editor’s note) and (incoming Minister of Justice – editor’s note) Lea Danilson-Järg who worked on population issues. Your kind of people through and through?
I have no ideological criticism against them. Isamaa is the party closest to us in this regard.
But given that the new justice and enterprise ministers lack political experience, and I’m not talking just about ministerial experience – not many people have that – but also parliamentary experience in terms of how we do things here… They also lack administrative experience, knowledge of how things are done in government and ministries – I believe there is a considerable risk that they will fall short .
A risk further amplified by the fact that they have only a short time in power. But they are outsiders and can easily return to their old professions if things don’t work out for them.