Estonian regional affairs minister on the verge of resigning

  • 2024-03-15
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Social Democratic Party's (SDE) Minister of Regional Affairs Madis Kallas said at the government's press conference on Thursday that if he cannot solve certain decisions, it will be difficult for him to continue as a minister, later adding that he is not one to make empty declarations, the daily Postimees writes.

The minister is a man for whom results and their fulfillment are important.

"In the last few months, several significant processes have come to such a strong standstill that I wanted to be honest early on and announce this, but luckily there is still time to get these things back on track and complete them," Kallas said.

Kallas said that the big goals are related to the revenue base of local governments. According to a new bill, local governments will be able to decide on the size of land tax itself on the basis of local needs, goals and agreements.

The minister named the creation of a rural fund through the Rural Development Foundation as another important goal.

For the minister, the goals are met if the redistribution, so to speak, from the increase in income tax would be at least 35-40 million euros and the volume of the rural fund would be of the same size, at least 35-40 million euros.

"I believed that I could implement these things within a year," Kallas said.

He has linked the indicator of the fulfillment of the goals to a year. Namely, Kallas became the minister of regional affairs on April 17, 2023. This means that he still has a month to fulfill his goals.

"On the one hand, it is a long time, on the other hand, I have not reached the finish line in 11 months. The hardest thing for me is if I do not achieve results important for my field," the minister said.

When asked how realistic it is to reach the target in such a time window, he answered that both processes are in the final stage.

"I would like to believe that it is possible to solve these things in a month, but I cannot guarantee it. We have been as close to the results for the last month. I have some hesitations, but there is no tension in my heart," Kallas said.

The minister said he hopes that solutions will be found soon and that his and the ministry's work will pick up speed.