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Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning administrative-territorial reorganisation (No 343), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Toomas Varek, Mailis Reps, Heimar Lenk, Lauri Laasi, Jüri Ratas, Helle Kalda, Inara Luigas, Kalle Laanet and Valeri Korb on 24 November 2009.
Ansip explained that several plans for administrative-territorial reform had been proposed to different compositions of the Government but none of them had gained broad-based support. “The present Government which I am governing has once discussed elements of an administrative-territorial reform, but the Government has not approved a clear-cut plan,” said the Prime Minister. In his words, he is not personally convinced that Estonia needs an administrative-territorial reform. According Ansip’s opinion, there is no reason to be ashamed of our local governments. The Estonian local governments are among the largest local governments in the European Union in terms of territory. Although, in terms of population, the Estonian local governments are a little bit smaller than the European Union average.
The Prime Minister explained that the most important role of local governments in a democratic state system lies in their ability to balance central power, and the more strongly a local government, a community carries local identity the better it can balance central power. At the same time, Ansip confirmed that he supports voluntary merger of local governments. “If communities deem it necessary to merge and find that this will help them better protect local interests then it is totally acceptable in my eyes, but any arbitrary merger of local governments is not acceptable for me,” the Prime Minister presented his position.
Ansip also replied to the interpellation concerning availability of medical care for persons not covered by health insurance (No 345), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Marrandi, Mai Treial, Villu Reiljan, Karel Rüütli, Ester Tuiksoo and Tarmo Mänd on 7 December 2009.
The Minister of Regional Affairs Siim-Valmar Kiisler replied to the interpellation concerning boat connection with the island of Ruhnu (No 344), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet, Ain Seppik, Enn Eesmaa, Lembit Kaljuvee, Tiit Kuusmik, Toivo Tootsen, Nelli Privalova, Jüri Ratas, Kadri Simson and Mailis Reps on 25 November 2009.
The Riigikogu Press Service