Estonia’s Kaja Kallas secures government coalition agreement

Estonia’s Kaja Kallas secures government coalition agreement
Опубликовано: Sunday, 09 April 2023 09:40

Defense and security are among the top priorities for the new administration.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has reached an agreement with two other political parties to form a coalition government, according to media reports.

About a month after the elections, Kallas announced on Saturday a deal between her center-right Reform Party, the centrist Estonia 200 Party and the Social Democratic Party, the Associated Press reported.

“This agreement ensures that Estonia is protected, that we can continue as an independent and self-sustaining country,” Kallas told a press conference, according to AP.

The Reform Party — which was at the helm of a coalition government with the Social Democrats and the Fatherland party until now — comfortably won re-election in early March. Kallas, Estonia’s first female prime minister, is expected to keep the job she’s been holding since 2021.

Her party will have seven ministerial portfolios, according to AP, including finance and defense.

The former MEP, a long-standing critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has emerged over the past year as one of Europe’s staunchest supporters of Ukraine. Kallas said during Saturday’s news conference that defense and security would be utmost priorities for the new government.

“Without security we don’t have to talk about anything else,” she told reporters, according to Bloomberg. “That’s why we are increasing our defense expenditure to 3 percent (of GDP) in the coming years.”

Beyond defense, reducing fiscal deficits and pushing policies such as same-sex marriage are among the other pressing issues, Bloomberg reported. The three parties reportedly also agreed to raise the minimum wage and to increase taxes.

The coalition deal will be formally signed on Monday.

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