What's in a Name: Cities Thwart Municipal Mergers ({{commentsTotal}})

News
News

Several negotiations to merge some of Estonia's underfunded local governments are being hampered by a question of identity for towns with a history of being a "city."

Namely, the towns do not want their status as “cities” to be downgraded to just being part of the surrounding municipality.

The mayor of Saue, Henn Põlluaas, said today that one of the reasons their talks with adjoining municipalities recently broke down was over this issue, reported uudised.err.ee.

"I guess there are psychological reasons here as well. Saue has now been a city for 20 years and it is quite a sensitive issue for city residents that we may one day no longer be a city,” Põlluaas said.

The same issue is stalling the leaders of Viljandi, whose history goes back to the early days of Lübeck Law .

"With a 730-year-old history as an old Hanseatic city, Viljandi should continue to be administered as a city and precisely in the capacity of a city,“ said Viljandi Mayor Loit Kivistik.

"It definitely would not be emotionally acceptable for the city's residents if the today's merger means that we must become a municipality by name.“

Neither of the two mayors supported a proposal made in the media earlier today by Sulev Valner, who is heading the government's municipal overhaul, that a joint name should be found for cities and municipalities.

"I can't say it that would resolve the problem. I think it would be more reasonable to keep the 'city' in city names and then the surrounding municipality would just be a hinterland or the city's municipality," said Põlluaas.

Kivistik noted that there are other reasons impeding mergers as well, such as the rural municipalities' fear that their councils will become too centered in the major urban areas.



{{c.alias}}
{{c.createdMoment}}
{{c.body}}
{{cc.alias}}
{{cc.createdMoment}}
+{{cc.replyToName}} {{cc.body}}
No comments yet.
Logged in as {{user.alias}}. Log out
Login failed

Register user/reset password

Name needs to be fewer than 32 characters long
Comment needs to be fewer than 600 characters long
{{comment.captcha.word.answer}}

news.err.ee

Opinion
Independence Day: Estonia’s way into the future isn’t a race

There is a lack of connection between the Estonian state, and the people who live here. While it expects a lot of the state, Estonian society doesn’t seem ready to contribute, writes Viktor Trasberg.

Lotman: Security academy would be crucial Estonian identity point in Narva

In an opinion piece published by Eesti Päevaleht, Tallinn University professor Mihhail Lotman found it important to overcome the mental barrier separating Ida-Viru County from the rest of Estonia.

About us

Staff & contacts | Comments rules

Would you like to contribute an article, a feature, or an opinion piece?

Let us know: news@err.ee