Pro-business europhile Kaja Kallas is to be Estonia’s first female prime minister after parliament voted in her new coalition yesterday.
Kallas, a 43-year-old former member of the European Parliament (MEP) and leader of the Reform Party, is the daughter of the Baltic state’s former prime minister Siim Kallas.
She will govern in a coalition with the Centre Party of outgoing prime minister Juri Ratas.
Her government will command 59 seats in Estonia’s 101-member parliament and won the backing of 70 MPs in yesterday’s confidence vote after garnering support from the Social Democrats.
Speaking to parliament as the small Baltic eurozone state struggles with the coronavirus pandemic, Kallas vowed “to keep Estonia as open as possible, so that people could go to work, and children to school, and the economic activity could continue”.
She said that her “government will be like a tightrope walker over an abyss, always watching their balance” between controlling the pandemic and allowing economic activity.
The new government will be sworn in today.
Ratas resigned earlier this month after his party came under investigation for corruption.
The far-right EKRE party which had been in coalition with Ratas is now out of government.
Kallas’s party came first in parliamentary elections in 2019 but did not win an outright majority and then failed to build a coalition.
During her time at the European Parliament between 2014 and 2018, she was regularly included on lists of the most influential MEPs.
She is a passionate proponent of innovation who argues that regulations must not hinder the digital technological revolution.
Focused on the rights of small and medium-sized businesses, Kallas believes that borders in the digital world prevent innovative companies from emerging.
The Reform and Centre parties have alternated in government over the nearly three decades since Estonia broke free from the Soviet Union.
Both strongly support Estonia’s EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) membership, which they see as a buffer against Soviet-era master Russia.
They have favoured austerity to keep spending in check, giving the country of 1.3mn people one of the eurozone’s lowest debt-to-GDP ratios.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
From suicidal thoughts to racism: Harry, Meghan unload on royals
Meghan accuses UK royals of racism, says 'didn't want to be alive'
Switzerland outlaws facial covering
French billionaire politician killed in helicopter crash
Queen praises 'dedication to duty' before Harry and Meghan interview
UK faces difficult post-Brexit era under Boris: Ex-French envoy
Six killed in Ukrainian bus accident in Poland
New Zealand to end virus lockdown on largest city
During tough times, dogs save the Queen: report