Bust: government falls into a coma

Chairman of the Social Democrat Party (SDE) Jevgeni Ossinovski said in late January that the government is done making fundamental decisions and development has been put on hold. It now turns out that the government’s health has deteriorated further, and a recovery is no longer in the stars – the government failed to reach consensus concerning the UN Global Compact for Migration, which means Estonia will not be joining.

The situation boils down to a virtual government crisis where SDE wants one thing, Pro Patria another, and where Prime Minister Jüri Ratas was too busy handing out candy bars at a campaign event at the Baltic Station to take a stand. Whereas it is not a question of a single party’s election promise but a work-related matter that required a decision.

The time before elections is difficult for any government, but the current triumvirate, created by ousting the Reform Party, couldn’t even wait until campaign lists were in before self-destructing.

Governments unusually stay together until someone has an alternative. This might not be the case this time. Seats in the Riigikogu are tilted in the government’s favor though, and no one is keen on taking over just four months before elections. The coalition partners know this.

The migration compact decision will not make things easier. A government that has given up searching for consensus in one matter is more likely to do it again. Until agreements are no longer sought, and everyone gets busy working on their campaign. The sides meet a few times a week at cabinet or government sittings, but the mood is that of an annoying relative’s birthday party.

The opposition has tasted blood and will throw everything it can at the government. Indecisiveness, inability to compromise, damage done to Estonia’s reputation, putting Estonia alongside Hungary and Poland, caving to pressure from the opposition – everything goes.

It is also worth recalling that the state budget, the government’s single most important law, is still in the Riigikogu. Perhaps Center’s partners will suddenly discover in it something that rubs them the wrong way? Arguments over the government’s regional investments (read: protection money) will surely begin anew as the Social Democrats are not likely to let Pro Patria get away with funding its foundations.

Further decay in the government cannot be ruled out either. Why would SDE, especially Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, continue in the government? Ratas accepted his candidacy so he would take care of things on the foreign front. The UN compact was in his administrative area.

Yesterday’s decision shows that Mikser does not have the prime minister’s support as the government’s search for consensus ended in a victory for Pro Patria. Why should Mikser trust Ratas again?

Governments do not usually go down in major scandals; minor injuries tend to prove fatal instead. Work to tear down the previous government started with recalling politicians from the supervisory boards of state companies.

postimees.ee
government Chairman Social Democrat Party SDE
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in january
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Politics
Even though education is a matter close to the heart of Estonia 200 leader Kristina Kallas, she cannot imagine herself fighting for the post of education minister: ideas can also be realized by someone else. You just took away Postimees’ editor-in-chief. In your opinion, how is the editorial to feel? Lauri [Hussar] had to give the matter thought, and I presume he did. We talked about why he wants to go into politics. Still, to what extent do you imagine wh...
Society
TALLINN – Russia is seeking integration in Estonia only in words, Kalev Stoicescu, researcher at the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) who is running on the ticket of the Estonia 200 party in the March 3 general elections, said on Wednesday commenting on the words said on the subject by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  "Russia is the only neighboring state which does not wish -- due to its own interests -- progress in integration...
Politics
Former top centrist Evelyn Sepp admitted that she donated money the origin of which was unknown to her to the Center Party in 2006. The former politician claimed other members also engaged in the practice but refused to name names. Sepp’s confession on ETV investigative journalism program «Pealtnägija» does not come as a total bombshell. She first said that such covert funding of parties is a widespread practice in the aftermath of the Silvergate scandal i...
Society
"In addition to our ongoing programme of passenger vessel renovations, we are also continuing to upgrade and modernise our cargo vessels to ensure that we continue to develop this important part of our business," he noted, adding that the relocation of the company's Estonia-Finland cargo route to Muuga on the Estonian side in October 2017 and the launch of the Smart Port solution in Tallinn's Old City Harbour in spring 2018 both contributed to improved ser...
Society
During the final week of 2018, a total of 2,524 patients with viral upper respiratory infections sought medical attention, 47.5% of whom were children. A total of 210 cases of influenza were laboratory confirmed, nearly twice as many as during the week before, according to Health Board data. Over the past two weeks, the number of flu cases has quadrupled. The majority of these cases were laboratory confirmed at emergency medical departments, from which pat...
Society
I actually think that B1 is too low of a bar for attaining citizenship. You still can't participate in Estonian society on anything other than a superficial level as noted above, so I'm not sure how you can constitute a "citizen" on that basis. Naturally there has to be a high degree of arbitrariness, and that's precisely the point — whilst B1 level might be sufficient in German or French (I understand that it is the benchmark level when applying for citiz...
Society
Following a white Christmas throughout most of Estonia, Wednesday will see sleet and even rain in parts of the country, and temperatures hovering around the freezing point will means slippery road conditions. Early Wednesday morning, many major highways were salted or wet, but some patches were still icy, the Estonian Road Administration said. Eastern parts of the country will see scattered rain or sleet. Temperatures throughout the day will remain around...
Society
Last weekend, Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day and Boxing Day still ahead means that most chemist's shops are closed for five days in a row. Tallinners can still get hold of prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs in the 5 Tõnismägi St and 19 Vikerlase St shops. As doctors' practices are closed for the holidays as well, people will have to turn to the emergency room of a nearby hospital in case of any more serious health problems. In Tallinn,...
Society
Irene Ilves, the mother of former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, died on Tuesday aged 91. Irene Ilves was born on 6 January 1927. An Estonian refugee, she raised her family in New Jersey, on the US East Coast. She is survived by two sons, Andres Eerik and Toomas Hendrik, and four grandchildren, Juulia Kristiine, Luukas Kristjan, Kadri Keiu and Hans Hendrik, Mr Ilves wrote on social media on Wednesday, adding that she will be very missed by family and frie...