At Thursday’s sitting of the Riigikogu, Bills on reducing the financing of political parties from the state budget, submitted by two political parties, passed the first reading.
The Bill on Amendments to the Political Parties Act (32 SE), submitted by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, provides that the allocation from the state budget to every political party represented in the Riigikogu will be equally 450 000 euro per year.
Martin Helme who made a report said that, in the future, the annual amount from the state budget to political parties would be 2.7 million euro. The amount would decrease by a half compared with the current amount. “At present, more than 5 million euro of taxpayers’ money per year go to political parties, and our aim is to reduce it,” Helme said.
Jüri Adams who took the floor during the debate said that the Estonian Free Party is sympathetic towards the Bill.
The Bill on Amendments to the Political Parties Act (33 SE), submitted by the Estonian Free Party Faction, provides that the total amount of the allocations paid to political parties from the state budget in 2016 and the following budget years must not exceed half of the corresponding amount paid in 2015 (2.7 million euro).
Külliki Kübarsepp who made a report said that the content of the Bill was the political idea that had been put forward in the action for collecting signatures for the public address “Stop the Overfeeding of Political Parties!”, carried out by the initiative group of the Free Party, for which 3940 signatures had been collected.
In Kübarsepp’s opinion, as the first step, the total volume of the financing by the state should be reduced by a half, to 2.7 million euro, and the further steps should be taken according to the proposals put forward in the address.
Mart Helme and Andres Herkel who took the floor during the debate supported the reduction of the financing of political parties from the state budget. In the opinion of Viktor Vassiljev, it would be reasonable to draw up a single Bill on the reduction of the financing of political parties that would get the support of the whole opposition.
The Riigikogu approved with 57 votes in favour (7 against and two abstentions) the Act on Amendments to the Aviation Act and the Act on Amendments to the Aviation Act and the State Fees Act (83 SE), initiated by the Government. The Act establishes the general rule that radio communication is ensured both in Estonian and in English, but only English is used when flying at the height of over 9.5 km in Tallinn flight information region. Radio communication in Estonian concerns circa 20 private pilots who do not fly so high. The requirement of radio communication in English arising from European Union law applies to commercial flights. The Act specifies the regulation concerning exemption from security checks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is given the right to exempt guests who are on a visit on the invitation of the President of the Republic from security check on the request of the Director of the Office of the President of the Republic, and to exempt guests who are on an official visit to Estonia from security check on the request of a member of the Government or the Secretary of State.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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