Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gas Pipe Redux

Nord Stream's reaction so far has been, "we're taking our toys and going back to Finland". Good riddance. Any crap they dig up from the bay floor is still going to do damage to Estonia, but at least now it's Big Brother's job to sort out the mess, and deal with the Russkies. That lot's been in the EU for ages, they use the Euro for heaven's sakes; let them handle it.

Giustino asked a few questions in the comments to the previous article, and the answer is long enough for a separate post:
Didn't Edgar also come out against this?

Do you buy the Laar partners with Savikas, facilitates Ansip's downfall, don't let the door hit you on the way out, Andrus, concept?

I do feel that Ansip is a bit like Tony Blair post-Iraq War invasion. Ie. he can stay in office for no matter how long, but the honeymoon (if there ever was one) is long over.

AND, why are the Sotsid so not front and center here? Not worth their time/political capital?
1) Edgar is irrelevant, to the extent that I don't think anybody bothered to ask him. It's a government decision, and even Edgar can't play Loyal Opposition with a straight face at this point.

2) I do buy the concept, since I'm getting the distinct feeling that Andrus won't last. I'll put a sixpack of Tõmmu Hiid on Laar getting the PM seat before the next elections, and there are three ways of doing it.

One, my perfect option - a coup in KERA, new blood signing a pact with the fuzzy-cheeked devil to preserve some credibility for the party. Unlikely simply because Edgar will not fade quietly into the night, he'll let go of the party about five minutes after he's dead.

Two, Edgar sees the light, comes crawling to Laar, accepts a high-level ministership in return for a coalition spot. The local elections aren't that far away, and his alcohol law hasn't exactly ingratiated him with the Tallinn population. Once he loses control of City Hall, he's done. As much as people are disgusted with Ansip, Edgar is actually hated and despised; for what it's worth, generating that attitude in a large swathe of the Estonian population is a commendable effort.

Three, Reform whips toss Ansip (he's never really been in charge of the party, hence his ploy for a massive personal vote of confidence), and for lack of a convincing figurehead, give Laar the PM seat in return for some truly heinous favours. From their POV, it's justifiable because it puts Laar in the position of having to sort out the mess Ansip left. As I've said before, Laar seems the only person capable of doing that properly, and if he does, there's a very good probability he'll be our next President, after THI's eight years are up.

3) The difference is that Estonian politics thrive on kicking the PM in the nuts. Ansip is in power until his first major goof, providing that either Edgar or the Reform bosses kiss and make up with Laar.

4) To be honest, I'm not sure. SDE has had less coverage than the Greens or the farmers throughout all this. They've just been sitting there, waiting for the consensus. They did well in the elections as the default bourgeois nonconformist choice, but half their leadership is in Brussels and I suppose whoever's left feel out of their depth.

Then again, this has been an utter Reform vs. IRL affair. The Greens made a statement because they really couldn't not bite, but SDE may just be biding their time and not getting sullied by the media circus: they have no obvious stake, and for them inaction may very well be the optimal course.


AndresS said...

I can't see Laar and Savisaar ever working together. Won't happen, I'll bet a case of Tõmmu Hiid on that. :)

Giustino said...

Paet explained that, while the overwhelming majority of the 20 ministries and other organizations consulted for the decision were in favor of allowing the pipeline to be laid, the majority of the ministers were against it, many for openly political reasons.

Here's a key fact. Reform apparently supported it, yet it lost a vote of the ministers.

I wonder how that happened.

antyx said...

For Reform, it was more important to hold ranks in the coalition. As soon as they realized IRL was prepared to walk over this, they had no choice but to deny permission.


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