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At today's sitting, the Riigikogu authorised the candidate for Prime Minister Jüri Ratas to form the Government. 53 members of the Riigikogu supported Ratas, 33 were against, and there were 7 abstentions.

Ratas said that we all have a reason to be proud of our country and people. “At the same time we have to admit, sadly, that our Estonia is facing several serious challenges today. The demographic crisis, social inequality, economic standstill and national security are issues that cannot and must not be overlooked. The resolution of these key problems is the driving aim of the Government coalition of the Estonian Centre Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union,” Ratas said.

“Estonia’s foreign and security policy is consistent and is founded upon a broad-based trans-political consensus. Membership in NATO and the European Union are the most important guarantee of Estonia’s security and welfare. The Governments of Estonia have kept a steady course on that, and have thereby raised the quality of life of the Estonian people and strengthened the foundation pillars of our national independence. Certainly, the new Government will continue on that course,” Ratas stressed.

He explained that the government coalition that is being created would aim to vigorously implement the necessary investments and tax changes. “We will keep the state budget in structural balance on the average, but we are ready to use reasonable loan capital to fund profitable investments,” the candidate for Prime Minister noted. “In taxation, we will implement the most needed tax reform in Estonia after the restoration of independence.”

Ratas said that, in difficult times, our agriculture and rural life need special attention. “We will raise the funding of this field to the extent of the maximum limit for transitional aid, and we will increase the funds directed to crisis aid in 2017.”

Ratas said that he supported the carrying out of the state reform and reduction of bureaucracy. “At the same time we cannot accept peripherisation, and we must ensure decent living conditions everywhere in Estonia,” Ratas stressed.

Ratas introduced various aspects of the agreement of the assuming coalition. The red thread running through it is the desire to give a positive turn to the course of the state in the development of the economy as well as the resolution of social problems.

“I and all the candidates for minister understand the responsibility that will be placed on our shoulders. We will set to work, knowing that we need to make the Estonian society more equal, take the state closer to the people, and extend a helping hand to all who need it. It is caring and unity that our state needs most,” Ratas said.

The candidate for Prime Minister Jüri Ratas also replied to numerous questions of members of the Riigikogu.

Then, the ministers of the leaving Government replied to the interpellations submitted by members of the Riigikogu.

The Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu replied to the interpellation concerning the policy of a prosecutor’s office in punishing immigrants (No. 260).

The Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal replied to the interpellation concerning the violations related to the on-line sales centre for ferry tickets (No. 263) and the interpellation concerning the dredging of the fairway to Hiiumaa (No. 272).

The sitting ended at 7.24 p.m.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):

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.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Gunnar Paal,
6316351, 51902837
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee