At the opening sitting of the Riigikogu autumn session, the President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and President Toomas-Hendrik Ilves made a speech.
The President of the Riigikogu discussed in her speech the developments that have been going on in the state and the tasks to be faced. Ergma also touched upon the forthcoming elections in March. She said that the fact that there would be elections in March did not mean that the work of the current composition of the parliament had been completed. “People have trusted us to protect their interests and we have to fulfil this duty. We here in this hall have to make decisions, thinking of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. We have to look further than March of next year,” stressed Ergma.
“Our work is to keep the hope for a better tomorrow – to ease people’s worries about their welfare and future, and keep up their faith in a brighter tomorrow. And we must not fail that hope,” said the President of the Riigikogu.
In his speech, the President called the parliament to also vigorously fulfil their duty as an interpreter and guardian of the processes in the society. The President recognised the Riigikogu for public discussion of the human development report, unemployment and other issues concerning the whole society. “None of the problems in the Estonian society can be solved with one blunt decision or slogan. No solution will be found to be correct by everybody,” said Ilves.
The President noted that, in a state that has grown up, it is not the sum of the words that have become Acts that shows the efficiency of the work of the Parliament. Passing new Acts and adjusting the existing ones will remain the main work of the representative body of the nation in the future as it is. However, professionalism of the Riigikogu is demonstrated by the willingness of its members to discuss generally important problems in the society, to look for solutions and to negotiate. In order to move on, Estonia needs a thorough, public and frank discussion in which every citizen can also recognise his or her opinions, stressed Ilves.
After the opening of the Riigikogu autumn session, ministers replied to ten interpellations.
The Minister of Regional Affairs Siim Valmar Kiisler replied to the interpellation concerning bad condition of local roads (No 449), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Marika Tuus, Tiit Kuusmik, Arvo Sarapuu, Toomas Varek, Valeri Korb, Mailis Reps, Aivar Riisalu and Eldar Efendijev on 13 May.
The Minister of Justice Rein Lang replied to the interpellation concerning violence against women (No 461), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Heljo Pikhof, Eiki Nestor, Jaan Õunapuu, Mark Soosaar, Jüri Tamm, Karel Rüütli, Peeter Kreitzberg, Sven Mikser, Jaanus Marrandi, Indrek Saar and Kalev Kotkas on 17 June, and the interpellation concerning possibility of using private roads (No 491), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Georg Pelisaar, Kalle Laanet, Nikolai Põdramägi, Evelyn Sepp, Olga Sõtnik, Kadri Simson, Inara Luigas and Tiit Kuusmik on 3 August.
The Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi replied to three interpellations. They were the following:
the interpellation concerning the work of the Tax and Customs Board (No 448), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Inara Luigas, Enn Eesmaa, Helle Kalda, Toomas Varek, Aivar Riisalu, Tiit Kuusmik, Georg Pelisaar, Eldar Efendijev, Mailis Reps, Arvo Sarapuu, Nikolai Põdramägi and Evelyn Sepp on 12 May;
the interpellation concerning renovation of Rõngu school (No 457), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Marika Tuus, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Georg Pelisaar, Inara Luigas, Eldar Efendijev, Vladimir Velman and Toivo Tootsen on 2 June;
the interpellation concerning the euro information campaign (No 460), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Tiit Kuusmik, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Helle Kalda, Toomas Varek, Lauri Laasi, Vladimir Velman, Olga Sõtnik, Toivo Tootsen, Arvo Sarapuu, Nikolai Põdramägi, Evelyn Sepp, Ain Seppik, Marika Tuus and Heimar Lenk on 16 June.
The Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts replied to four interpellations. They were the following:
the interpellation concerning Eesti Energia advertising campaign (No 446), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Lembit Kaljuvee, Lauri Laasi, Nikolai Põdramägi, Valeri Korb, Kadri Simson, Tiit Kuusmik, Helle Kalda and Arvo Sarapuu on 11 May;
the interpellation concerning problems with ferry traffic on Rohuküla – Heltermaa line (No 447), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kotkas, Eiki Nestor, Kalle Laanet, Ain Seppik and Hannes Rumm on 11 May;
the interpellation concerning Eesti Energia’s project in Jordan (No 458), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb, Lauri Laasi, Kalle Laanet, Nikolai Põdramägi, Arvo Sarapuu, Jaak Aab, Inara Luigas and Helle Kalda on 3 June;
the interpellation concerning payment of subsidies by Enterprise Estonia (No 459), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kallo, Toivo Tootsen, Nikolai Põdramägi, Ain Seppik and Helle Kalda on 3 June.
During the open microphone, Toomas Varek took the floor.
The sitting ended at 8.12 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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