GALLERY: The October 27 to November 2 Week in Pictures

11/3/2014 3:03 PM
Category: Society

The Viljandi tragedy was the top story of the week, and could remain in the news for a while if a debate on the causes is kept alight.

A 15-year old student shot and killed his teacher at the Paalalinna School in Viljandi in the early afternoon on Monday. The pupil only targeted the teacher and surrendered the gun shortly after.

The news rocked the nation, previously untouched by firearms violence in schools. President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called it a national tragedy, Education Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski said there are no easy fixes, while other politicians said it was an isolated incident and the general level of security is still high. Politicians said Estonian society was not prepared for such an event.

Maris Lauri was named as the replacement for Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi, who resigned at the end of the previous week for making emotional online comments. Lauri, who was until now the economic adviser to the prime minister, also joined the Reform Party.

On the whole Parliament parties welcomed Lauri, who is seen as less political and with great theoretical knowledge, but some critics point to her lack of leadership experience and the fact that Reform Party MPs with perhaps more skills for the job, would have been replaced by Silver Meikar, a Reform Party whistle blower, in Parliament and Lauri was only second choice.

One of the nation's economic nightmare stories of recent years could be getting a happy ending, with an Estonian-owned investment company preparing to purchase state-owned national carrier Estonian Air.

Infortar, major shareholder on Tallink, could be set to take over, or even fully buy out the state in the airline which has seen more than its share of turbulence in recent years.

The case of Eston Kohver, the captured Estonian security official, received mixed news last week. Kohver's Moscow-appointed lawyer, Yevgeni Aksyonov, said Kohver could be allowed to leave prison for house arrest, but Estonia is not willing to pay for an apartment in Moscow. Estonian officials, including Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas, weighed in, saying Aksyonov's words should be taken with a pinch of salt, and the legal system, including the state-appointed lawyer, are not what people in Estonia would expect from an unbiased system.

The pre-election wave of politicization of public figures and switching sides took a turn for the unexpected on Friday, with IRL darling Eerik-Niiles Kross jumping ship for the Reform Party.

He said IRL's inflexibility was the main reason. The party's opposition to the Cohabitation Act, which the Reform Party advocated, was probably the final straw. Kross and Yoko Alender, who made the switch with Kross, both campaigned for the law, which gives same-sex couples more legal rights. No IRL MP voted for the bill.


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