Kallas makes decisions instead of Helmet

From the point of view of the entrepreneur and the Estonian economy, the most important thing is that the state’s decisions have perspective and clarity, which seems to be lacking in Stenbock, Äripäev writes in the editorial.

In recent days, a schizophrenic situation has arisen in Estonia at the level of the Prime Minister and the government, both on the coronary front and in the case of problems caused by rising energy prices, which can only (partially) be explained, but certainly not justified. Äripäev believes that from the point of view of the entrepreneur and the Estonian economy, the most important thing is that the state’s decisions have the perspective and clarity that seems to be lacking in Stenbock in those days. However, an indecisive difficult situation can often be fatal for governments.

One day, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says in an ERR radio program that the government is discussing wider restrictions on unvaccinated people, such as recovering medical expenses or raising the order of scheduled treatment backwards. And he emphasizes that he personally supports it. The next day, however, he makes the opposite statement, stating that “the examples are theoretical and the government does not consider such steps realistic”.

This is a pretty similar sowing of confusion, which the Reform Party – and rightly at the time – accused the Minister of the Interior of EKRE, Mart Helme, who in his public speeches seemed to step out of the role of a member of the Estonian government. One step further and we will soon see the Prime Minister raging about himself and talking about how the government should behave, but it will not.

It also reflects the balance of power in the government, where the Center Party is making its will happen. This is in a situation where a public opinion poll commissioned by the SALK Foundation run by Tarmo Jüristo revealed that there is in fact widespread support in society for differentiating the restrictions between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. Voters of the Prime Minister’s Party, or the Reform Party, are particularly convinced that unvaccinated people could have wider restrictions.

Conflicts slam into the doors

Rising energy prices have put pressure on governments across Europe. The heating season begins, costs increase. Much has been said about industry, but transfers actually extend to all sectors of the economy, for example, Politico wrote about rising food prices due to higher fertilizer prices. Social conflicts are getting louder and louder.

The European Commission’s toolbox on the global surge in energy prices, presented on Wednesday (toolbox for action and support), addressed by Kadri Simson, Commissioner for Energy, has made a number of recommendations to governments on how to support vulnerable consumers and businesses affected by rising prices.

Measures include emergency income support through vouchers or partial payments of bills, which can be supported by EU ETS revenues; temporary deferral of payment of invoices; reduction of tax rates; aid to undertakings in accordance with EU state aid rules, etc. The topic will also be on the European Council’s table next week. However, decisions remain with each Member State.

The Prime Minister must understand that whatever is the case with today’s decision, one can foresee the resulting budgetary or social problems in the future. For example, if we temporarily reduce VAT on fuels, it will always be more difficult to recover it later, because the metrics can be set, but the context changes. However, action is needed now and now – unpopular if necessary, the government has the legitimacy – problems that arise later must be resolved later.

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