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Estonia's Parliament gives green light to new center-right government

Estonia's Parliament gives green light to new center-right government

Estonian lawmakers on Wednesday gave Prime Minister Andrus Ansip the go-ahead to form a new center-right government that is expected to cut the Baltic country's flat income tax.
The Parliament formally authorized Ansip to form a three-party coalition government, with 62 lawmakers voting in favor in the 101-seat Parliament. The remaining legislators abstained or were absent during the vote.
The government was set to be sworn in on Thursday after Ansip presents a list of Cabinet ministers to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Ansip's center-right Reform Party, the conservative IRL union and the centrist Social Democrats agreed earlier this week on a coalition platform. They plan to continue market-friendly policies in the country of 1.3 million, including reducing the flat tax from 22 percent to 18 percent by 2011.
High-tech Estonia has one of the European Union's fastest-growing economies, and some economists credit the flat tax, which means everyone pays the same tax rate as opposed to the progressive rate that most European countries use.
The coalition pledged to boost Estonia's birth rate by enhancing financial incentives to parents. The population has been shrinking partly due to emigration, primarily to other countries in the European Union, which the former Soviet republic joined in 2004.
They also pledged to improve relations with neighboring Russia, which have been badly strained in recent weeks over plans to relocate a World War II memorial in downtown Tallinn that honors Soviet soldiers.
Under the deal, Urmas Paet is set to continue as foreign minister and Rein Lang as justice minister. Both are members of the Reform Party.
Ivari Padar, chairman of the Social Democrats, will become finance minister and former Prime Minister Juhan Parts, an IRL union member, economy minister.
Ansip's Reform Party narrowly won a March 4 parliamentary election with 27.8 percent of the vote, ahead of its former coalition partner, the center-left Center Party. That party will now be the main opposition group.


Updated : 2021-10-19 06:55 GMT+08:00