TALLINN - Prime Minister Andrus Ansip refused to describe Estonia’s position on the ESM bonds purchases plan on Tuesday, reports Postimees Online. When answering journalists’ questions at the press briefing on Tuesday after the meeting with the German Minister of Economic Affairs and Technology Dr. Philipp Rosler, Ansip declined from expressing a clear position on whether Estonia has any dissenting opinions towards the ESM bonds purchasing plan, or will it support Finland’s proposal that countries having financial hardships issue bonds on the basis of guarantees.
“First, we need to ratify the ESM and then we can talk about details,” said the head of government. “I would like to state that we believe in austerity measures,” he added, explaining that Estonia has its own problems, though it was able to significantly cut government expenses during the crisis, make structural reforms such as raising the pension age and amend the labor market laws as well as raise the excise tax rate on alcohol and tobacco.
“Therefore, we do believe in the ESM, in the EFSF, in making budget cuts,” emphasized Ansip. “However, we need to make certain that these are based on structural reforms,” he added.
Ansip did not wish to comment on any scenarios for pulling out of the euro area or questions about what could arise if necessary structural reforms are not carried out quickly enough. “I am not someone to speculate,” said the Estonian prime minister. “I believe in the future of Europe and in the future of the European Union. I would wish to see the current European Union member states continue in the European Union, and the current euro area countries continue in the euro area, and furthermore, that there would be more of them,” he said.