Survey: Population not sufficiently informed about Rail Baltic

Rail Baltic would connect Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to the rest of Europe via high-speed rail. (David Grandorge)
11/28/2016 2:37 PM
Category: Business

A new survey commissioned by the parliamentary group of the Greens in the European Parliament brought out that though the majority of Estonians know about the project, only 18% consider themselves to be sufficiently informed about it.

One of the initiators of the survey, Estonian MEP Indrek Tarand (Greens/EFA), said that he had wondered or a long time how well Estonian residents were informed about the Rail Baltic project.

That more than 70% of the population had heard of the project, as previous surveys had shown, didn’t express how much they knew, Tarand added. “According to our survey, 32% consider themselves to be very well or sufficiently well informed.”

Pollster Juhan Kivirähk said that the results had been contradicting, and that the comparably small amount of people who consider themselves to be well informed was to be expected. Though 50% supported the project, support for a detour of the route to also go through Tartu was just as high.

An earlier survey commissioned by Rail Baltic brought out that of all the people who knew about Rail Baltic, just 18% thought that there was enough information about the project available. Only 23% said that it was clear enough where the railway would be built. 57% of respondents found that not enough had been done to keep people up to date about the project.

Concerns of the initiators of the survey mainly revolve around environmental issues. They question the justification for the project, and demand that the route be built along existing train tracks leading from Riga through Valga and Tartu to Tallinn.

“Our three previous governments have not presented an objective look at what the currently discussed route of Rail Baltic brings,” Tarand said. The new government needed to take the time required to conduct analyses to find out whether or not Estonia needed Rail Baltic at all. If it did, the government should make it clear why. All of this needed to be done with full transparency.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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