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President Kersti Kaljulaid in Antarctica.
President Kersti Kaljulaid in Antarctica. Source: Office of the President.

The past week has been an eventful one both in Estonia and abroad. Here's a snapshot of the news from Estonia, and the Estonian angle on news from abroad over the past week, as reported by ERR News.

News 

Government agrees to link pension reform to confidence vote

The government agreed to support Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Center) proposal to link the adoption of the pension reform bill by the Riigikogu to a matter of confidence on Friday.

Reform and Center Party Tartu City Government coalition collapses

The coalition of the Reform Party and Center Party on Tartu City Government collapsed, with the majority Reform Party aiming to enter negotiations with the Social Democratic Party (SDE) to create a new coalition. Negotiations were still ongoing on are Friday with the SDE optimistically hoping to announce an agreement next week.  

Health Board providing daily updates on coronavirus online

The Health Board has begun publishing updates on its website on a daily basis about the coronavirus including the latest confirmed statistics. An adivisor told ERR the risk of contracting coronavirus in Estonia is very low.

Government wants to tighten up drink-driving laws

Government ministers have put forward suggestions for harsher drink-driving laws in the aftermath of a fatal collision earlier this month which killed three people, including a baby.

Estonian economy estimated to grow no more than 2.5 percent in 2020

Estonia's economy is not expected to grow more than 2.5 percent in 2020, analysts for banks SEB and Swedbank said on Tuesday. Swedbank estimated a 2.4 percent increase and SEB predicts a 2 percent rise.

President Kersti Kaljulaid reaches Antarctica

President Kersti Kaljulaid reached King George Island in Antarctica on Tuesday making her the first Estonian head of state to visit the continent. She also called for the world to come together and find a solution to climate change.

Estonia ranks 18th in Transparency International's corruption index 

Estonia has increased its total score and maintained its position at 18 on the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released on Thursday by Transparency International, going against a global trend of "stagnation" or "backsliding".

Finance minister: Green revolution needs more money than planned

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) believes the climate-neutral economic investment plan he discussed with minister in Brussels on Tuesday, fall significantly short of actual needs, the money will largely come at the expense of other EU activities, and that Estonia cannot be satisfied with the differential treatment of coal and oil shale in the calculation of support.

On Friday it was announced Estonia has challenged the methodology for calculating the transformation of the biggest polluters within the economy.

Snus increasingly popular among schoolchildren

Smoking behind the school between classes has become a thing of the past. Snus has become more popular among school children, which can be used during class, is difficult for onlookers to detect, and which doesn't give off a telltale smell. Teacher and police experience indicates that snus is spreading first and foremost among 7th, 8th and 9th graders.

Estonia granted short-term work permits to 28,297 in 2019

Last year, Estonia granted short-term work permits to 28,297 people from third countries. It also issued over 32,000 registrations for employment during fixed periods, and 18,608 such registrations remained in force on January 1.

Kiik: Equality campaign will not cause government to collapse

Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik (Center) defended his equality campaign against criticism made by the Minister of the Interior (EKRE) and said it will not cause the government to fall apart.

Government give go-ahead to BALTNET NATO air security ratification

The coalition government has green-lighted an agreement which will see the Baltic Air Surveillance Network and Control System (BALTNET), a NATO body which previously had its main center in Lithuania, superseded by a new network of national control and reporting centers.

Estonian financial watchdog receives positive assessment by IMF

Experts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided a positive assessment of the anti-money laundering activities of Estonia's Financial Supervision Authority.

Fentanyl usage has declined but is being replaced by new substances

The crowding out of the strong drug fentanyl by the police has led to a steep reduction in drug-related deaths, but new hazardous substances have begun to make their way on to the market.

Interviews

Finance minister: Social Minister Kiik should not behave this way

Deputy chairman of the Conservative People's Party, Minister of Finance Martin Helme vindicates party members serving on the Appointment Committee, talked to ERR about father Mart Helme's alleged withdrawal, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik's infuriating actions and a plan to save pharmacies.

Center secretary general: Losing power in Tartu a failure

The Center Party consigned itself into the opposition in Tartu following infighting when the ruling Reform Party said on Monday it would form a new coalition with the social democrats. Does Center's Secretary General Mihhail Korb know what happened? He does. But is he willing to talk about it?

Opinion

Marko Mihkelson: Why Stalinist history matters to Putin

We don't know whether Russian President Vladimir Putin has read Yevgeni Zamyatin's dystopia "We" or George Orwell's even more famous novel "1984." We don't know whether cadets at the KGB school in Okhta were Putin studied were taught about these forbidden books, while his actions in restoring authoritarian power in Russia have been both Zamyatinian and Orwellian in nature, Marko Mihkelson writes.

Pictures

Gallery: Nature showing signs of spring in mid-January

Throughout Estonia, nature is showing signs of spring, despite the fact that it is only mid-January.

Gallery: Kaljulaid meets penguins and polar scientists in Antarctica

President Kersti Kaljulaid met with polar scientists and learnt about the life of penguins during her visit to Antarctica.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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