Their message sounds familiar: no gay marriage, fewer migrants, and caps on foreigners’ land ownership. Several years ago, EKRE, or the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia, was a largely unknown party on Estonia’s far-right. But now, with just under 20 percent of the seats in this Baltic country’s parliament, they’re in talks about forming a coalition government. Does EKRE’s newfound influence mean that, as elsewhere in Europe, right-wing nationalism in the Baltics is strengthening its political foothold?
Some of EKRE’s critics speculate that Moscow helps fund the party’s activities – part of a Kremlin strategy of aligning with right-wing movements throughout Europe. But senior EKRE member Martin Helm, who routinely denounces alleged “Russification” attempts, asserts his party just says what many Estonians are thinking.
To find out more, Evening producer Andrei Tsyganov spoke with EKRE on the eve of Estonia’s March 3, 2019 parliamentary elections.