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Prime Minister Jüri Ratas: Estonia takes the economic recommendations of the European Commission seriously



At today’s meeting Prime Minister of Estonia Jüri Ratas assured Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis that Estonia takes the economic recommendations of the European Commission seriously. Prime Minister Ratas also acknowledged the Commission’s increasingly thorough work and analysis in monitoring the economies of the member states.

“The Estonian state budget is strong, and the Government is committed to maintaining the balance of the budget within the framework of the goals for the medium-to-long period. The Government has submitted to the Parliament a draft state budget with a structural deficit of 0.25% of the gross domestic product. This is in compliance with the Estonian fiscal goal and such compliance is valued by the European Commission,” explained Ratas.

In addition to the responsible budget policy, the European Commission has also made recommendations to Estonia about reducing the gender pay gap and increasing the public benefits of research and development work. According to the Prime Minister, these are important goals for the Government. The goals set in the current Welfare Development Plan include higher social inclusion, a high employment level, long-term and high-quality employment life, reducing social inequality and poverty, as well as gender equality. To decrease the level of relative poverty, tax incentives have been established for people with lower incomes and the amounts of benefits paid to some pensioners have been increased.

The duties of Vice-President Dombrovskis in the European Commission also include the development of the European economic and monetary union (EMU).

Prime Minister Ratas stressed that for the growth of the European economy and for a lower risk of potential new crises, the European economic and monetary union must be strong and well-functioning.

“The European economic and monetary union survived its first serious crisis successfully and without losing any members. The economy of the eurozone is growing more rapidly than expected and unemployment has dropped to the lowest level since 2009. Steady, rapid economic growth is a significant prerequisite for a strong monetary union,” noted Ratas. “However, the economies of member states recover from the crisis differently. The high level of debt of several countries would make them vulnerable in the case of another decline. In some member states, unemployment levels remain high. This feeds dissatisfaction and creates a fertile ground for populism and anti-EU movements. All of this also has an impact on the stability of the single currency,” added the Prime Minister.