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.

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
No rates yet
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...