Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning recommendations of European Commission (No 176), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Aivar Riisalu, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Jüri Ratas, Kadri Simson, Kalev Kallo, Lauri Laasi, Mailis Reps, Marika Tuus-Laul, Tarmo Tamm, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev and Yana Toom on 4 June.
The interpellators wished to know, in the light of the recommendations of the European Commission, what specific steps the Government was going to take for reducing long-term unemployment.
Ansip noted that the number of the unemployed had decreased rapidly, including that of the long-term unemployed who have been looking for a job for 12 months and longer. The rate of long-term unemployed which began to increase during the economic crisis and amounted to 7.7% in 2010 went down to 5.3% in the second quarter of 2012. As general unemployment has decreased even more rapidly, the proportion of long-term unemployed has risen, the Prime Minister admitted.
In Ansip’s words, it is a priority of the Estonian labour market policy to reduce long-term unemployment by avoiding new long-term unemployment cases and reducing the duration of unemployment. According to the Prime Minister’s explanations, the Government’s employment programme for 2012‒2013 includes a number of new and developed employment services which are suitable for preventing long-term unemployment and helping the long-term unemployed to find work. He added that, in addition, the conditions of the payment of wage subsidies to promote temporary and short-time employment had been changed to allow the payment of a wage subsidy to unemployed persons who have been registered for at least 12 months during the 15 months preceding the taking up of a job.
Ansip admitted that, in regions with high unemployment, scarcity of jobs is part of the problem. He underlined that it is important to contribute also to the supporting of enterprise. The Unemployment Insurance Fund supports the creation of jobs for the unemployed with the business start up subsidy. In the first half of 2012, 350 unemployed persons who wished to start a business have received the subsidy. The Unemployment Insurance Fund cooperates regionally with local governments. Within the framework of the cooperation, the Unemployment Insurance Fund and representatives of local governments jointly select the people who will receive help based on their particular problems, Ansip explained.
The Prime Minister also replied to the interpellation concerning the Estonian population and housing census (No 177), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Eldar Efendijev, Ester Tuiksoo, Lauri Laasi, Olga Sõtnik, Tarmo Tamm, Valeri Korb and Yana Toom on 5 June.
The Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus replied to three interpellations. They were the following:
the interpellation concerning taking the State Forest Management Centre to the stock exchange (No 183), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Eldar Efendijev, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Kalev Kallo, Lauri Laasi, Mailis Reps, Marika Tuus-Laul, Peeter Võsa, Priit Toobal, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev and Vladimir Velman on 30 August;
the interpellation concerning metal thefts and illegal activities of metal buying centres (No 186), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Andres Anvelt, Eiki Nestor, Helmen Kütt, Indrek Saar, Jaak Allik, Jaan Õunapuu, Kajar Lember, Kalev Kotkas, Kalvi Kõva, Karel Rüütli, Marianne Mikko, Neeme Suur, Rannar Vassiljev, Rein Randver, Sven Mikser and Urve Palo on 10 September;
the interpellation concerning the fire at the largest semi-coke deposit in the Baltic States (No 188), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aivar Riisalu, Eldar Efendijev, Ester Tuiksoo, Kalev Kallo, Lauri Laasi, Mailis Reps, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Peeter Võsa, Valeri Korb, Viktor Vassiljev and Vladimir Velman on 17 September.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet replied to the interpellation concerning the violence in Georgia (No 191), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Aadu Must, Aivar Riisalu, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Kadri Simson, Lauri Laasi, Mihhail Stalnuhhin, Priit Toobal, Tarmo Tamm, Viktor Vassiljev, Vladimir Velman and Yana Toom on 24 September.
During the open microphone, Viktor Vassiljev and Lembit Kaljuvee took the floor.
The sitting ended at 6.07 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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