Estonian state budget party ‘protection money’ recipients announced late November

While recipients of the state’s controversial “protection money” (Katuseraha) for 2021, part of the state budget process, have not been decided yet, the practise is likely to continue, ETV news show “Aktuaalne kaamera” (AK) reported Wednesday evening.

“Naturally I proposed both last year and in the [state budget] negotiations this year that the coalition should not issue this six million (this year’s figure – ed.), but put that money somewhere else, or save it,” finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) told AK.

“However, it is no secret that protection money is a very popular thing, especially among MPs (government ministers do not sit in the Riigikogu – ed.), and in fact others in the coalition did not pass on it either,” he went on.

The €6 million has been earmarked as protection money for 2021, with recipients – usually a wide variety of projects including improvements to schools, sports centers, social care centers and even churches – to be announced in November.

The practice of protection money, which acts as a sort of grease in the state budget process – agreed by the cabinet in late September and spending much of the rest of the year at the Riigikogu for debating, before a final vote in December – dates back to the 1990s, veteran politician and former Riigikogu speaker Eiki Nestor (SDE) says.

Read more: ERR.EE

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