No. 19

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Stuck

  • Helle Ruusing

    Editor-in-Chief, Information Adviser of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu

For a long time we kept repeating to ourselves that we were not Latvia. Our economy would manage the crisis better, we had reserves, our politicians were better statesmen, etc. Until the cabinet crisis broke, that is. Until the cabinet crisis was created, to be precise. Disgruntled voices now say that we are like Latvia.

The Government worked to reach a minimal common ground. Tough decisions were only made in words and on election posters, the reality is that the deficit of the State Treasury is growing by the day. Minority governments have a very short tradition in Estonia and politicians must therefore truly exceed themselves in order to make the necessary decisions once and for all. The ray of hope in this situation is that discussions will return to the parliament and become more transparent and to the point. We can only hope that the next majority government would be formed more on the basis of the world view and less on that of personal relations between politicians.

When applying crisis measures, we should not forget that their influence is systemic. The state is first and foremost responsible for its own citizens and must take into account the social consequences. After all, we do not want any part of our nation to fall into a disadvantaged situation or to suffer poverty. Estonia’s social system may seem too expensive, but compared to other EU countries or viewed from the standpoint of the individual, it tends to be quite modest. Aggressive cuts may lead to unwanted and long-term consequences. Right now it seems that not only is the economy stuck, but that the bustle of the elections has also shut down the thinking and decision making capacities of our politicians.

We should be asking why the comparison with Latvia seems so undignified to us. Of course, there are many differences between the two nations and countries, but there is much more to unite us throughout history as well as today. This is something we should be proud of, more than anything.

Full article in Estonian

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