Enterprise Estonia handed out advice to companies, and assessed whether or not they should receive public support, without being economically accountable, lawyer Taivo Ruus wrote in a Postimees opinion piece on Monday. This needed to change, and these activities delegated to professionals.
After 17 years in government, Reform needed to find to a new role, and instead of being the manager of the Estonian state become a debater. How the party would get used to its new position, no longer able to dictate the political agenda, remained to be seen, said political scientist Mari-Liis Jakobson in a comment on Vikerraadio on Friday.
Speaking on Sunday’s Raadio 2 broadcast of "State of the Union," radio show host Andrus Karnau found that the scandal to break out last week involving Martin Repinski’s goat farm was likely to culminate on Monday in his replacement as a minister of the newly-installed Estonian government.
While the Baltic states would prefer full defensive capability, NATO is emphasizing its reinforcements’ function as a deterrent. The alliance would have to round off its military presence in the area with diplomacy, and political stability and dedication to liberal democratic values would play an important role maintaining the West’s solidarity, columnist Ahto Lobjakas wrote in an opinion piece published in daily Postimees.
In an opinion piece in daily Postimees, former EU commissioner Siim Kallas points out that Rail Baltica goes far beyond considerations of its route on Estonian soil, and the money the government will have to invest. On the contrary, there is a broader European meaning that includes considering the strategic situation of Estonia.
Speaking about the recent US presidential elections on Vikerraadio’s Sunday broadcast of "Samost and Rumm," hosts Anvar Samost and Hannes Rumm recognized that Donald Trump’s election win is being considered as the destruction of two political dynasties there, however democracy and dynasties don’t go well together anyway.
The fact that too many foreign journalists do not understand the Estonian language, and that they have no access to the local political culture and its players, has distorted reports abroad of what happened this week, writes ERR News editor Dario Cavegn.
The embarrassing conflation of the Reform Party’s self-image with the Estonian state is proof that it is high time they are sent into opposition, says journalist Alo Lõhmus.
On Friday, the ministers of the Social Democrats (SDE) and the Pro Patra and Res Publica Union (IRL) began calling back Reform Party members from the boards of state-owned companies and funds. The Reform Party’s reaction was an announcement published on Sunday — a rather strange one, finds ERR News editor Dario Cavegn.
Ärma Farm’s funding scandal was overshadowing the achievements of Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ presidency, including the fact that Estonia had benefited from state visits that Ilves hosted in Ärma, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) said to ERR on Thursday.
On a journalist exchange in Estonia, Benno Schirrmeister of Bremen’s TAZ is highly informed, yet a blank slate as far as a foreigner’s experience of Estonia is concerned. In his first op-ed about Tallinn, he spots something beyond IT that Estonia could advertise — but doesn’t.
Linguist Urmas Sutrop has claimed that Estonian journalism is scaring people with the specter of war. Editor-in-Chief of monthly magazine Diplomaatia Erkki Bahovski, however, doesn’t agree.
According to Ingo Mannteufel, head of the Department for Russia and Europe at Deutsche Welle, there is a possibility of the Kremlin starting to believe its own propaganda, which could lead to dangerous decisions both domestically and internationally.
Estonia’s largest political parties had been going through the most serious crisis in their existence, and on top of that they had lost their most important function, namely to formulate a vision of the country’s future, daily Postimees wrote in its Friday editorial.
According to director of Tallinn’s International Centre for Defence and Security and former ambassador to Russia, Jüri Luik, the increased tensions over the past few weeks between Russia and the West indicate Putin’s wish to exploit the ambiguous mood before the U.S. presidential elections as much as possible.
In a stinging opinion piece in published in the daily Eesti Päevaleht, member of the Riigikogu Eerik-Niiles Kross (Reform) condemned the Estonian media as well as the country’s elites for their obsession with what he sees as pointless topics, while disregarding the last few weeks’ unsettling developments concerning Russia.
After Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ decade in office, and after he promoted Estonia like no other president did before him, his legacy is now tainted by the fact that he seems to have gone for a substantial state grant in 2006 that he never put to use — and of which he will now pay back just a tenth.
In a recent opinion piece in daily Postimees, columnist Ahto Lobjakas wrote that one way to look at Rail Baltic was as a step towards the level other countries had already reached in terms of speed and comfort of their railway connections. The main weakness of this point of view was the fact that in Estonia, it lacked the necessary social context.
For a potential future coalition with the Center Party, the Reform Party needed to change its leader as well, Social Democratic MP and chairman of the Riigikogu’s Foreign Affairs Committee Sven Mikser wrote in a comment on social media on Friday.
The greatest accomplishment of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is that he branded Estonia as a modern and innovative 21st century country, and brought it out of post-Soviet obscurity, writes Tallinn University’s Matthew Crandall.
The uncertain public performances of Estonian politicians and poor explanatory work were to blame for a considerable increase in public distrust during the migration crisis, found ERR journalist Greete Palmiste, working in Bremen on an international journalists' exchange, in an opinion piece written for German publication taz.die Tageszeitung.
On Friday, Aug. 12, Estonian representative to the European Court of Auditors Kersti Kaljulaid delivered a patriotic speech on the Postimees Stage at the 2016 Opinion Festival in Paide in which she expanded on two words and two respective ideas she found important for her country that were represented by the two letter Es in its native-language name Eesti: eetiline (ethical) and enesekindel (confident).
From Saturday’s election fiasco to Tuesday’s sudden emergence of a likely cross-party candidate: ERR News editor Dario Cavegn makes an attempt at explaining Estonia’s seemingly chaotic quest to find its next president.
The Estonian language as a language of science is only sustainable in those subject areas that offer undergraduate courses in Estonian, and with which students begin their university education, finds ERR science portal editor Marju Himma.
The Center Party’s presidential candidate, Mailis Reps, wrote in an opinion piece published in daily Postimees on Sunday that the Administrative Reform Act was a disappointment to Estonia’s municipalities, and that relations between local and central government were in a crisis.
Describing himself as "wearily spiteful" instead of angry, ERR's Narva correspondent Jüri Nikolajev responded to the top secret memo on Ida-Viru County that leaked recently, calling Estonians to figuratively not leave their property laying around if they did not want anyone else to take it for themselves.
In 2015, the Government Security Committee received a secret memo containing a dark assessment of the future of Ida-Viru County, Estonia's most northeastern and predominantly Russian-speaking county, which was compiled by Ilmar Raag, who worked as a strategic communicatins advisor at the Stenbock House at the time. Estonian journalist Sulev Vedler responded to the memo by compiling various reactions to issues it addressed.
Journalist Alo Lõhmus explored the right to Estonian citizenship by "jus sanguinis," Latin for right of blood, as it relates to one's eligibility to run for president — an issue which has had particular attention drawn to it recently after members of a competing political party attempted to cast doubt on the status of presidential candidate Marina Kaljurand's Estonian citizenship.
Columnist Erkki Bahovski commented on the curious, decidedly defensive turn that seemed to be taken by Finland's Social Democrats following the release of a lengthy report by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (UPI) which suggested that Russia, in its own self-interest, is attempting to hamper Finland's total integration with the West.
The Reform Party’s presidential candidate, Siim Kallas, said in an opinion piece published in daily Postimees that an estate tax, more precisely a tax levied on real estate, could be considered to finance local government.
According to fuel company Olerex, the global price of fuels on Monday reached the highest level in the past year and a half, and the price increase will also reach Estonia.
If the Estonian parliament’s Finance Committee is able to vote on all the new government coalition’s tax amendments on Tuesday and forwards the bill to the Riigikogu, the bill’s second reading will take place on Wednesday despite the Reform Party’s efforts to delay it.
Finance Minister Sven Sester (IRL) is planning to set up a committee of experts at the beginning of next year that would help ministers appoint supervisory committees of state-owned companies.
Minister of Rural Affairs Martin Repinski (Center) has invited food producers with export experience to take part in a roundtable on food export that is to take place at the Ministry of Rural Affairs on Dec. 14.
Russia will continue to defend the rights of its citizens and fellow countrymen, including non-citizens in the Baltic states, Speaker of Russia's Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko said.
The Estonian Ministry of Defence has confirmed that Estonia is aware of Finland's offer to join their artillery procurement tender, however they have yet to reach a decision regarding whether or not they will choose to cooperate with their northern neighbors on this one.
Elections for the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the Economic Affairs Committee, the Social Affairs Committee and the Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu were held on Monday.
Former prime minister Taavi Rõivas announced on Monday that he had decided to step down as chairman of the Reform Party by the end of the year. Rõivas was voted out of office in an expression of no confidence on Nov. 9, speculations about his replacement as chairman have made rounds since.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called Jüri Ratas on Monday to congratulate him on his assumption of the position of Prime Minister of Estonia; Ratas in turn invited May to visit Estonia.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) made the decision on Wednesday to keep Martin Repinski on as Minister of Rural Affairs. Repinski had faced massive criticism over the past few weeks for his questionable business practices, as well as for a suspended sentence for fraud he received when he was 15 years old.
In recognition of International Volunteer Day, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) is thanking all of its volunteers who find the time in their everyday lives to contribute to the security of Estonia.
Chairman of the Riigikogu’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Marko Mihkelson (IRL), is currently on a visit to the United States. On his schedule are the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Transatlantic Forum as well as meetings with leading members of the US Congress.
Apart from the ongoing work ability reform, the Estonian welfare system has an additional change coming up, namely the closing of the country’s six large special care homes in 2020. Its residents are to be reassigned to smaller homes with up to 30 people. The change represents a shift from Soviet-style social care to a more Western approach.
Linda Line, the operator of a high-speed ferry connection between Tallinn and Helsinki, canceled all of its scheduled departures through Tuesday morning due to inclement weather.
Representative bodies of Estonia’s manufacturing industry submitted a joint appeal to the government regarding the planned excise tax hike on natural gas, finding the increase unacceptable.
Sunday’s repetition of the runoff between right-wing populist candidate Norbert Hofer and left-wing Green Party candidate Alexander Van der Bellen produced a clear enough result. Van der Bellen won the election with 53% of the vote. His campaign and election received unusual attention in the Estonian media because his mother was Estonian.
Daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Monday that Repinski would likely remain in office, as sacking him would lead to new trouble within the Center Party, and in effect also the coalition. Meanwhile farmers turned to the prime minister with an appeal to let Repinski stay, as he was the first minister with an understanding of their situation in many years.
Estonian beekeepers would like the new coalition to show more interest in beekeeping, and want the government to support them with 20 euros per hive beginning 2018.
According to the European Drug Report 2016, the use of illegal substances is considerably more widespread in Estonia than in Latvia and Lithuania, and above the European Union average when it comes to cannabis, amphetamines, and ecstasy.
Finnish defense minister Jussi Niinistö suggested that Estonia and Finland issue a joint tender for new artillery guns. Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat wrote on Saturday that the Estonian government had been informed about Finland’s plans.
A poll taken by the Estonian Union for Child Welfare showed that 27% of Estonian schoolchildren have experienced cyberbullying. The union concluded that more attention needs to be paid to this issue.
Estonia’s union of medical specialists, Eesti Arstide Liit (EAL), announced on Saturday that the warning strike of the country’s doctors of Sept. 20 had not produced any results. The new government had until Feb. 15 next year to adopt the union’s demands, otherwise a new and bigger strike would follow.
Latvia’s flag carrier, Air Baltic, has set for itself the goal to become the biggest airline at Tallinn airport. The company has also abandoned its plan to buy Russian planes.
The reserve units mobilized for a snap exercise on Friday were by now fully manned and combat-ready, which proved yet again that Estonia’s reserve forces system functioned well, Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna (IRL) said on Saturday.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Friday that the scandals involving his government’s Minister of Rural Affairs, Martin Repinski (Center), had raised many questions, and promised to make a clear decision in this regard soon.
President Kersti Kaljulaid told reservists participating in the military snap exercise “Okas” this weekend that 88% turnout with just 24 hours’ notice was a remarkably good result.
NATO's largest cyber defense exercise, Cyber Coalition 2016, which was organized by Allied Command Transformation, ended in Tartu on Friday. More than 700 service personnel, IT specialists, legal experts, and government officials participated in the exercise.
Estonia's new Minister of Public Administration Mihhail Korb (Center) met on Friday with representatives of the 26 municipalities that have contested the administrative reform law in court.
Weekly recommendations for cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by and published in the Culture critics’ blog at culture.ee. It seems as though the Christmas spirit is nearby, because this week offers plenty of music and merry gatherings.
130 years following her death, the award-winning Youth Mixed Choir Vox Populi will be giving a short series of concert-lectures dedicated to the life of the famous Estonian poet Lydia Koidula at schools and cultural centers across the country in an alternative to more typical holiday-themed Advent-season performances.