The board of the governing Estonian party, the Reform Party, decided at its Nov. 10 session to rule out cooperation with the biggest opposition party, the Center Party, and implementation of a progressive income tax in the next governing period, reports LETA. Reform Party chairman, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, said that the Reform Party does not see any possibilities of cooperating with the Center Party’s chairman, Edgar Savisaar, in the future. “We completely rule out that option just like we are opposed to implementation of a progressively increasing income tax. The Savisaar-like management style in Tallinn sharply contradicts honest, transparent political culture that is based on a sound mind,” Ansip said. Savisaar is the mayor of Tallinn at present. Ansip said that his party opposes progressive income tax as it would punish people who want to work more, and it would paralyze the Estonian economy. “It is important to preserve the current unified and simple tax system, continue making the Estonian business environment more favorable and in the long-term perspective, reduce the private individual income tax to 18 percent. We will certainly not give up the corporate income tax freedom that facilitates economic growth,” said Ansip.
The Estonian 2011 state budget passed its second reading in the parliament on Nov. 23 without the opposition continuing its delay tactics, reports National Broadcasting. While at the marathon parliament session last week, which lasted from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday at 1 p.m., the parliament managed to vote in 103 of the 127 amendment proposals and on Nov. 23 it voted on the remaining 24 amendment proposals in less than a half an hour. According to the 2011 draft state budget the state’s income will grow next year over 2 percent, to 5.7 billion euros and spending will increase 5 percent, to 6 billion euros. Amendment proposals to the draft state reading before the third and final reading will have to be submitted by Nov. 29.
Upon opening the NATO Research and Technology Organization Cyber Defense Symposium in Tallinn on Nov. 22, Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo said that without cyber defense instruments created by scientists, every talk of cyber defense would be empty words, reports LETA. According to Aaviksoo, in addition to members of the Defense Forces and political decision makers, cyber defense needs, above all, new technologies to combat threats. “Without cyber defense instruments, created by scientists and engineers, every talk of cyber defense would be empty words. I hope that the symposium helps to establish better conditions for managing cyber threats,” said Aaviksoo. Nearly 100 experts from almost every member state of the Alliance participated in the cyber defense symposium of the NATO Research and Technology Organization. The two-day event was organized by the Estonian Ministry of Defense and Defense Forces.