Week in pictures: July 20-26

7/28/2015 2:17 PM
Category: Society

Relatively quiet summer week was a bad news for hundreds of Estonian pigs who had to be exterminated due to African swine fever. But it was a good news for up to 180 refugees from the Middle East and Africa who will find a safe haven in Estonia within the next two years. 

The most important cultural event was the Viljandi Folk Music Festival which entertained thousands of people from Estonia and elsewhere. 

The newly refurbished Narva border checkpoint was inaugurated. The Narva-1 terminal cost 7.5 million euros to build and is three times the size of the old checkpoint.

The refurbishment will speed up border crossing procedures for regular travelers and contribute to the development of tourism and entrepreneurship in Ida-Viru county. Over 3.6 million people use the checkpoint every year to move between Estonia and Russia.

It emerged on Monday that the State Duma of Russian Federation will continue to proceed with Estonia-Russia border treaty ratification process in November. The treaty regulates the border between the two nations and both sides relinquish territorial claims against the other state.

African swine fever caught up with hundreds of farmed pigs in Estonia. Pigs in three farms, two in Viljandi and one in Valga County, were diagnosed with African swine fever and 500 animals were exterminated. Although the disease does not pose a threat to humans, it affects trade and has a serious socio-economic impact on people’s livelihood.

The interior ministers of the European Union decided at a meeting in Brussels that the union will help 60,000 refugees from Africa and the Middle East. Estonia has definitely agreed to provide safe haven for 150 people within the next two years, but it is possible that the country will accept up to 30 more. Minister of Internal Affairs Hanno Pevkur and Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna also embarked on round-trip to discuss refugee question with local authorities.

Government announced that Estonia will start combating food waste. The average Estonian household currently throws away 20 kilograms and 120 euros worth of food each year, amounting to an annual total of 63 million euros.

A bomb threat letter was found on a Turkish Airlines flight which had just arrived from Tallinn on Wednesday evening. An Estonian teenager was arrested in connection with the letter.
Viljandi Folk Music Festival transformed the otherwise quiet southern Estonian city of Viljandi into center of folk lovers from across Europe and elsewhere. The theme of this year's festival was "Freedom".

Welles Declaration, by which the acting US Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, issued a declaration on July 23, 1940, condemning the Soviet Union’s aggression against Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, was commemorated in Tallinn.

S. Tambur

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