Ratas: we will focus on what unites the Estonian people

Apr 18
Created: 18 April 2019

Jüri Ratas, the candidate for prime minister who was authorised by the Riigikogu to form the new government, said that the Estonian society represents many different values, but they should not conflict; all Estonian people should focus on what we have in common, rather than stress the differences.

In his speech, Ratas said that all members of the Riigikogu, all governments and political parties who have led Estonia since we regained our independence, have aimed for building up the best possible state. According to Ratas, Estonia has done well – we are a European country of social welfare, and this reflects in global rankings and indexes.

He also noted that there have always been some who have felt that something is broken in society. "Transition to the market economy or the ownership reform was difficult for some people. Many saw the increasing gap between their income and expenses. Jobs were lost in rural areas and stratification increased in towns. We have not always been able to help the most vulnerable members of our society – children, the elderly, the disabled," Ratas said.

He stressed that integration has not been entirely successful and Estonians have often felt estranged from people of other native languages. "We also know that the inequality of income between Estonian men and women is the highest in Europe. We are often unable to understand the habits, logic, and behaviour of other people. We still see conflicts between innovation and self-preservation," he said.

According to Ratas, Estonian society represents many values, but they should not conflict. "We must focus on what unites us, the people of Estonia, rather than stress the differences," he accentuated.

Among other things, Ratas prioritises levelling the increased gaps of local communities: between rich and poor, rural areas and towns, people with liberal and conservative views. "Everybody can and must make an effort in our political activities to level the fears of our citizens and calm the society," Ratas said while assuring that the coalition of the Estonian Centre Party, Conservative People's Party of Estonia, and Pro Patria values the comprehensive development of Estonia and the well-being of each individual.

According to him, the coalition also stands for a cohesive society as well as a strong and growing population, and supports regional life in all of Estonia. "We will also pay more attention to those who are the most vulnerable. It all serves the most important constitutional purpose, which is to guarantee the preservation of the Estonian people and an independent and safe Estonia," Ratas said in his speech, introducing the principles of the new government.

The new coalition has five priorities: a family-friendly Estonia, a coherent society, knowledge-based economy, efficient governance, and a secure state.