The Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi replied to the interpellation concerning the fulfilment of the price stability criterion (No 521), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Inara Luigas, Helle Kalda, Lauri Laasi, Kalev Kallo, Valeri Korb, Tiit Kuusmik, Arvo Sarapuu, Vladimir Velman, Marika Tuus, Georg Pelisaar, Jaak Aab and Mailis Reps on 19 October.
Ligi explained the aspects relating to the fulfilment of the price stability criteria. He noted that Maastricht price stability criterion is something that Estonia has fulfilled. “It is an exam that has been passed and there can be no talk of any sanctions simply because we have a higher inflation than the European Union states with the slowest inflation,” confirmed Ligi. In his words, the 12 months’ average inflation in Estonia is 1.56% as at October this year. In Ligi’s words, we fulfil this Maastricht criterion to running over even if it applied to us. The reasons of the inflation in Estonia predominantly come from abroad. “There are in principle two goods groups that have boosted the inflation in Estonia: the oil price which has risen by 28% in euro (by 15% in dollars) in a year, and the food price in the world market which is 26% higher than a year ago. The price of milk and grain has seen an especially steep climb,” the Minister of Finance explained the situation. He pointed to the inflation indicators of Estonia as an example: the food price rose by 8.7% and motor fuel prices rose by 12% in October. No Government decision was involved in these price rises, stated Ligi. Inflation has been high in Estonia all the time. He explained that while the euro zone has set a price rise of less than 2% as its price stability measure then Estonia will undoubtedly have a slightly more rapid price rise, probably somewhere around 2‒4%, in the coming years. This is due to a lower price level and price harmonisation which we have had all the time, regardless of the euro, the euro zone or the economic crisis. In his reply to the interpellation, Ligi stressed the importance of the conservative budget policy.
On the motion of the Rural Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 66 of the State Assets Act (840 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was removed from the agenda for Wednesday’s sitting of the working week.
During the open microphone, Kadri Simson took the floor.
The Riigikogu Press Service