Talking about foreign trade, there are no simple solutions, which is what makes it an unpopular topic with politicians. All the while, Estonia needs an active minister that could work in just that particular area, former minister of trade and entrepreneurship and current Reform Party MP Anne Sulling writes.
The events of Friday’s meeting of the Reform Party leadership, in which the new chairman Hanno Pevkur switched out party secretary general Reimo Nebokat and director of the regional development division Kalev Lillo following a 7:6 vote, showed that the the party remained polarized, found Hannes Rumm, one of the hosts of Sunday's Vikerraadio broadcast "Samost ja Rumm."
As the media is dominated by headlines which stir up memories of political threats, torture, deporations and escapes from years of occupation in the Baltics, Estonian author and filmmaker Imbi Paju considers whether culture is enough to keep man's basic instict for destruction in check.
When talking about "alternative" or counter media, one must distinguish between fake news, the producers of which are at least self-aware, and partisan media, which rejects anything not fitting their worldview as biased or outright false, ERR Opinion editor Rain Kooli writes in his opinion piece.
Estonian society is expecting changes from the Reform Party, including a return to liberal values and losing the attitude that the party is infallible and alone fit to govern the state. Should Saturday’s general assembly produce a result reflecting steps in this direction, this year in politics can be counted as off to a good start, Center Party board member Raimond Kaljulaid writes in an opinion piece published by daily Õhtuleht.
The disappearance of local governments from the Estonian map is a radical but no doubt effective motivator for registering one’s actual place of residence in the country's population register. Thus there is reason to hope that, regardless of how the population itself is doing at the moment, the country can get at least the population register into model order, Alo Lõhmus finds in his opinion piece.
Moving the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences to Ida-Viru County would contribute to local development. It would also work against the prejudice Estonians hold against the area, and improve the quality of state institutions, the Justice Ministry’s deputy secretary general for the Prison Department, Priit Kama, wrote in an opinion piece in daily Postimees.
Michal had the current inner circle of the party on his side. Pevkur needed to mobilize party members that were much less active in order to win, political commentators Hannes Rumm and Anvar Samost said on Sunday. In addition, he couldn’t bring up the pary’s 2012 financing scandal and Michal’s involvement in it, as it might cost him additional support.
Estonia needs a unifying conservatism. In a society in which left-wing and liberal forces are taking advantage of people’s various understandings of nationalism, immigration, same-sex unions, gender roles or family models, nothing unifying can come from anywhere but the conservative wing, writes ERR editor Peeter Helme in his opinion piece.
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.
According to Swedish business paper Dagens Industri, the sale of the Baltic business of Swedish entertainment broadcasting company Modern Times Group (MTG) will go ahead soon.
Two members of the Riigikogu belonging to the opposition Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) praised President Kaljulaid’s criticism of the plan to erect a monument to Estonia's first president, Konstantin Päts, next to the seat of the Estonian parliament.
A 15-member high-level work group to advise the European Commission on innovation will include Estonian co-founder and CEO of money transfer service Transferwise, Taavet Hinrikus.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas congratulated U.S. President Donald Trump on his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, expressing the wish to maintain and strengthen the very good relationship between the countries, which according to the prime minister has played an invaluable role in Estonia’s history.
President Kersti Kaljulaid sent a letter of congratulation to President Donald Trump on Friday
on his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States.
At Thursday's Cabinet meeting, the Estonian government gave its approval for lowering the income tax rate for mature companies, restricting withdrawal of profit from subsidiaries in the form of loans as well as easing the taxation of and financial reporting rules for self-employed individuals.
Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has said that she does not support the plan to build a monument to Konstantin Päts, the first President of Estonia, considering it more appropriate if all the founders of the Estonian state were honored with a single monument.
Gender and Equal Treatment Commissioner, Liisa Pakosta, received a complaint by a woman on parental leave who was not granted a home loan on terms equal to those offered to others. The bank said as the state could not guarantee kindergarten placement of the child later on, the parent could end up in a financially difficult situation, which was their reason for rejecting the application.
Should listed Estonian electrical equipment maker Harju Elekter accept Indian firm Motherson Sumi's offer for its shares in PKC, it would earn €25.8 million from the transaction.
Estonia will be changing its behavior in connection with its forthcoming EU presidency, adopting a policy of "silence" for the six months leading up to it in which the country will seek to avoid major confrontations with other member states of the EU.
The average construction price index fell slightly in 2016, although it increased in the last quarter of the year, driven mainly by increasing labor costs.
What country will Europe's — perhaps even the world's — best young opera star be from? We will find out in May, when Pärnu hosts the 10th Klaudia Taev International Competition for Young Opera Singers. ERR's online Culture portal has put together an interactive map following Estonian conductor Erki Pehk and Toomas Kuter, one of the heads of the competition, as they travel across Europe in search of the continent's top young talent.
Tallinn’s taxi companies see slow business at this time of the year as the reason behind ridesharing service Taxify’s announcement that they were lowering prices. They also call Taxify’s option to lower prices an unfair competitive advantage.
According to a press release issued by Statistics Estonia on Friday, the producer price index of Estonia's industrial output remained completely unchanged in December 2016 compared to the previous month while experiencing a 2.5 percent change on year.
Both Enefit Kaevandused, the mining subsidiary of state-owned energy group Eesti Energia, and VKG Kaevandused, the mining subsidiary of shale oil and chemicals producer VKG, are planning on increasing output this year.
The Reform Party’s Taavi Rõivas criticized the announcement of the government to give the amount of years worked more weight in calculating pensions. The hope of many that pensions would go up would now be disappointed, he said. Rõivas is Estonia’s former prime minister as well as a former minister of social affairs.
At Thursday's Cabinet meeting, the Estonian government agreed on abolishing special pensions for members of the defense forces, prosecutors and police and border guard officials as of 2020. They also chose to proceed with other pension-related changes, including tying the retirement age to the average life expectancy as of 2027 and the size of one's first-pillar pension to the number of years they have worked.
A 12-strong body of Constitution experts set up by the Minister of Justice to analyze problems related to the Estonian Constitution as well as propose solutions for solving them met for the first time at the Ministry of Justice on Thursday.
A Vilnius court has decided that the Competition Council of Lithuania (KT) must decide again whether or not to give the green light for Estonian media group Eesti Media to implement a deal in the classifieds market that was concluded in 2014.
A committee will be created to appoint supervisory board members of state-owned companies. These members were previously appointed by ministers, often based on party membership rather than qualification. The issue led to a government crisis in November 2016 that brought the end of Taavi Rõivas' Reform Party government.
The Estonian government decided on Thursday to forward an agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons, according to which Indian and Estonian citizens sentenced to prison in the other country can serve their sentence in their home country, to the Riigikogu for ratification.
Nordica will publish its annual report in spring, after selling a stake in its subsidiary Regional Jet to Polish national carrier LOT. Until then, the company would continue to publish monthly results, its CEO, Jaan Tamm, told ERR on Wednesday.
Swedbank has lowered its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast on Estonia for 2017 by 0.2 percent to 2.2 percent.
While four deaths attributed to influenza this season had been reported as of Jan. 5, that number has since increased to 14 across Estonia.
Harju County Court on Thursday authorized the arrest of Ivo Milli, the technical director of the infrastructure engineer service of North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH) accused of corruption crimes.
In its second attempt to fill the position, the Reform Party parliamentary group elected Lauri Luik the second of its two deputy chairmen on Thursday.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, Marko Mihkelson (IRL), will attempt Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Friday. Mihkelson is on a one-week visit to Washington as a NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegate.
On his first official visit abroad, Estonian Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna visited Helsinki on Wednesday, where he and Finnish counterpart Jussi Niinistö signed a bilateral defense cooperation framework agreement.
The competition to find a new director general for the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) has failed after no candidate made it to the final round thereof.
ERR's online news portal reported repeatedly last year on how the purchase price of milk had dropped below its own cost of production and yet dairies' and retailers' price pressure did not allow for it to increase. The purchase price has increased twice since last fall, however, meaning that milk producers are finally seeing fair prices for their milk.