Estonia's PM invites far right for talks

After the elections in Estonia Prime Minister Jüri Ratas of the Centre Party has invited the national-conservative Ekre party to engage in coalition talks - despite having ruled out this option before the elections. At the same time he turned down an invitation from the liberal Reform Party - the unexpected winner of the elections. Estonia's press asks if Ratas's manoeuvre will pay off.

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Äripäev (EE) /

Centre Party alienating Russian voters

The columnist for the Russian edition of Äripäev, Elond Liebmann, explains what Russian-language voters will think of the talks between the traditionally pro-Moscow Centre Party and the right-wing extremists:

“In recent days Ratas has demonstrated his talent for talking a lot without really saying anything and hiding his own ideas behind a flow of words. That said, many observers believe that beyond clinging to the post of prime minister he has no ideas at all. ... The only way for the Centre Party to maintain the support of Russian-language voters would be to force the far right to remain silent on the language issue [Estonian or Russian as the default teaching language]. But it's very unlikely that it can do that.”

Õhtuleht (EE) /

Europe's interference backfires

The leader of the liberal Alde group in the European Parliament has sent a letter warning Prime Minister Ratas against joining forces with the right. Not a clever move, Õhtuleht concludes:

“Guy Verhofstadt's urgent advice to Jüri Ratas to avoid forming a coalition with Ekre justifies the question of whether it isn't precisely this kind of interference from the EU that far-right Ekre has been warning against the whole time. The prime minister's willingness to conduct talks has made Ekre socially acceptable, without any regard for the views of Europe, where in many countries parties like Ekre are in power.”