Estonian parties reach coalition deal

  • 2007-03-28
  • From wire reports
Leaders of the Estonian Reform Party, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IEL) and Social Democratic Party confirmed Wednesday evening an agreement on a new governing coalition.

Chairman of the Reform Party, Andrus Ansip, IRL leader Mart Laar, and SDP chief Ivari Padar initialed the deal.

The agreement, which the Reform Party had offered earlier in the day, gives the Social Democrats three Cabinet posts and four parliamentary committee chairmanships instead of the education portfolio on which the latter had set its sights. In addition to the finance, interior and population portfolios, the Social Democrats will also get the chairmanships of the standing Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs, Cultural and Rural Life committees.

IRL receives six ministerial posts and three committee chairmanships. Besides filling the positions of parliament speaker and defense, education, agriculture, economy and regional affairs minister, IRL will chair the European Affairs, Environmental and Legal committees.

The Reform Party will have the premiership, foreign, justice, environment, culture and social affairs portfolios, and chairmanships of the Finance, Economy, Defense and Constitutional committees.

Estonia's newest player in Parliament, the Green Party, which had been included early on in coalition talks, was not included in the deal.

The cost of the package will be a whopping 47 billion kroons (3 billion euros) of which 7 - 8 billion is to be spent next year.