eesti keeles

Press Releases
Open in print mode

The President of the Republic met the Chairwoman of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister

President Arnold Rüütel, Chairwoman of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and Prime Minister Juhan Parts meeting this morning at Kadriorg talked about how the information work preceding the referendum on EU accession had proceeded and in which direction it should be continued.

The state leaders themselves have actively participated in this work: the Head of State has done it during his continuing tours of counties, the Chairwoman of the Riigikogu, too, is visiting various regions of Estonia, and the Prime Minister carries on his tours of cities and towns. Summarizing the experience gained at their respective meetings, they observed today that a positive approach to the EU accession was prevailing among Estonia's population. The majority of questions asked had concerned the terms and conditions of our accession treaty, possible increase in prices and guarantees for our independence.

Challenging the assertions that Estonia could join under better conditions in future if we would postpone our accession, the state's top leaders pointed out that this opinion was misleading. In the next round of the EU enlargement, Estonia would have to hold accession talks with no less than 24 countries including the present acceding countries, Poland, Lithuania and others, all of whom were protecting their economic interests. It also would mean that our accession be postponed for at least 4-5 years, during which our economic growth and pay increase would slow down and we failed to become EU supports. They confirmed in agreement that not only Estonia’s development but also our independence would get firmer guarantees in the European Union.

As to the possible price rises, the Prime Minister noted that this issue had been overstated or even misleading arguments had been brought forth. The prices in Estonia formed at present and would form in future, too, in the free market. And so for example, the assertion that after the accession the petrol price would rise dramatically was not correct. Since Estonia already had implemented the excise policy valid in the EU, only 1,18 kroons could be added to the respective price as motor fuel excise tax. On top of that, as of the next year earnings of workers were to increase as well, for the minimum income exempt from income tax would be raised by 400 kroons and the income tax cut by two percentage points.

In addition, the state leaders today got an overview of on what the further information activities should be concentrated. They agreed to meet for the purpose of discussing the same issue as the referendum approaches.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 21, 2003

© 2006 Office of the President l tel: + 372 631 6202 l fax: + 372 631 6250 l