“It’s a complicated business. The declaration of an emergency situation would send a certain signal. But what if we think back to the emergency situation in the spring and how many questions it raises, whether our freedoms will be restricted and whether we would get them back?” Said Kaljulaid.
The president admitted that the previous emergency did not cause long-term damage, but added that politicians seem ready to consider an emergency this time for communication purposes only. “It doesn’t seem right to me. It makes more sense to share the fact that the reproductive number (R) in Estonia is still above one,” said Kaljulaid.
“In addition, the laws have been changed so that we don’t need an emergency situation to deal with such situations in the future. I believe that the government of Jüri Ratas was right to do so.”
The president refused to compare the governments of Jüri Ratas and Kaja Kallas, saying the virus doesn’t care about politics.
Salary support should remain available for as long as necessary
Host Mirko Ojakivi asked Kaljulaid how to avoid the crisis affecting families with children and low-income workers hardest.
“I believe that all government support measures should be aimed primarily at protecting workers. People who have lost their jobs and incomes,” the president said.
Kaljulaid stressed that she did not think it was right to support the ownership structures of companies. “We shouldn’t put resources there today. Action should help people who are now having coping problems. This would also have a positive impact on domestic consumption as people benefit the grocery store,” noted the president.
“It is important that these measures are quick and remain available as long as necessary.”
Kaljulaid added that while Estonia’s credit burden has risen sharply, measures need to be maintained during the crisis.
Ski trips from the table in the current situation
Kaljulaid admitted that one politician’s behavior is an example of the crisis and that in the current situation she would not go on a private ski trip.
“As an Estonian, I feel today that our fall rate is serious enough to prevent the overseas stay and uncertainty in manufacturing. I definitely wouldn’t do that,” said Kaljulaid.
The President went on a private ski trip to Switzerland in the last few days of last year, although it was strongly recommended not to travel unless strictly required by the Foreign Ministry.
Kaljulaid said her trip, while not breaking any rules, may have sent a mixed message to society. She added that people should not be mad at those who choose to travel responsibly and take all necessary precautions.
Visits abroad have their value
Kaljulaid said some professional travel was necessary, indicating a recent state visit to Spain. The president said she had spoken to the country’s leaders for a total of four hours.
“We don’t have time to quietly discuss what is wrong in Russia outside of this crisis. It is, in a sense, diplomatic opportunism,” said Kaljulaid.
The President also stressed the importance of her visits to Latvia and Lithuania. “Latvia and Lithuania deserve diplomatic attention just as much as any other country. While what we see at eye level is by no means self-evident,” said the head of state.
“Video conferencing remains an option and has been used extensively while from time to time it is necessary to find a way to get together.”
People who rule the country should be vaccinated
When asked about the polarizing issue of whether executives should be vaccinated ahead of time, Kaljulaid said she believed it was.
“I think it is very important that the people who run the country – the government, parliament and key officials – are vaccinated as soon as possible,” Kaljulaid said.
“We all want these complex situations to be properly handled legally, although that sometimes requires a change in laws and regulations. While we can do anything with Zoom, we cannot say that government is not as important as other key workers. The government is also on the front lines, so I hope the government will be vaccinated, “Kaljulaid offered.
The president said there is no reason to doubt the safety of vaccines while the relatively large number of anti-vaccination activists and efforts to combat vaccination are worrying.
She said that a situation where Estonia had enough vaccines but a third of the population against vaccination would be a big problem. “We will never get rid of the virus in this case. It is not a problem for those who opt out of having to live with the consequences. The problem is that the virus will continue to spread if it continues to affect a third of the population.” may spread. ” mutate, “said Kaljulaid.
“If a sizable segment of the population, believed to be 75 percent, isn’t vaccinated fast enough, the virus can continue to hit us and eventually find a way to infect vaccinated people. That’s why we need one considerable part. ” Vaccination protection, “declared the President.
Corruption party suspected of embarrassing government
Regarding corruption, Kaljulaid described as embarrassing the fact that Estonia has a partner in the government who was embroiled in a corruption scandal the day before the coalition was formed.
“It’s an embarrassing fact that we didn’t manage to put together another coalition. But it looks like Parliament couldn’t have afforded one. It is undoubtedly very embarrassing. It just won’t be done.”
Nevertheless, the President praised the disposition and the foreign policy course of the new government.
“Estonia is also back on the right track in terms of its foreign policy. The path that Isamaa took under Mart Laar, while I very much doubt that the party shares his foreign policy thinking today,” offered Kaljulaid.
“It seems that our foreign policy line has become clearer,” she added.
Chances of becoming OECD Secretary General 1 percent
Kaljulaid decided at the end of January to withdraw her candidacy for the OECD Secretary General. Estonia submitted its offer in October last year.
“It was unfortunate to want to win a competition that you participate in. So my athletic ego is a bit hurt. On the other hand, just like the UN campaign (to become a member of the UN Security Council), it was a success. Because we participated and won, prosecuting the OECD campaign had its advantages. “
The president said it was likely that Estonia had managed to make any significant difference to the new secretary’s agenda. We will be in touch with the elected Secretary General to discuss things that are important to us, such as digital development and the free movement of data, “said Kaljulaid.
“Our chances of winning have always been slim. I believe that Estonia is the only country that doesn’t even have an ambassador affiliated with the OECD, and our turnout is so small that the odds of winning were around 1 percent,” said Kaljulaid.
She did not say whether she would run for a second term as President of Estonia. “I will think about it if the proposal should be made. However, I believe that we all have more important things to do and think about in the coronavirus crisis. This is not a priority today. I haven’t thought about it,” Kaljulaid said .
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