TALLINN – Estonia needs rapid and well-targeted steps to combat the impacts of the coronavirus, and it is essential to focus on invigorating the Estonian economy, not cost-cutting, Prime Minister Juri Ratas said in his political statement to the Riigikogu on Thursday morning.
Ratas said that the spread of the COVID-19 virus and a simultaneous decline in oil prices are seriously affecting the situation of the global economy and European economy. Therefore, there are also several signs of risk for Estonia.
"The economic forecasts made to date no longer apply, but making new and definitive predictions in the present situation is extremely difficult," Ratas said.
He said that, therefore, Estonia must be prepared for a potential significant deterioration in the economic environment and even a decline.
"The government is doing everything with other European Union member states and institutions for a major deterioration of the economic situation to be prevented," Ratas said.
He said that Estonia and the European Union alike have several tools for this, be it supporting the affected sectors through fiscal measures or increasing potential investments by the state.
"In the first place, we need steps with a rapid effect that are well targeted, which of course have to be carefully thought out," he said.
The prime minister said that Estonia will not find itself in trouble in terms of state finances, as the country has sufficient financial assets and a significantly bigger ability to also borrow than other countries have.
"In the event of a potential deterioration in the situation, I consider it essential in the first place to focus on invigorating the Estonian economy, not on cutting," the prime minister added.