Although the nation’s official language is Estonian, the Narva City Council is holding most of its meetings in Russian, which according to the Language Inspectorate violates the law.
From October to November, the inspectorate examined the use of Estonian language in the everyday work of Narva authorities, the organization's Director General Ilmar Tomust told ERR radio.
At the council meetings it became evident, however, that most of the presentations and speeches, including those of the chairman, were held in Russian, said Tomust.
The council's chairman Aleksandr Jefimov said that it is currently impossible for the group to meet the language requirements set by law. "The majority if the council members, including myself, do not possess a sufficient level of Estonian to properly conduct council work," Jefimov explained.
In addition, the majority of locals belong to the Russian-speaking community and may have a hard time following the public meetings due to the language barrier, Jefimov said.
According to Tomusk, the council can ask the Cabinet for the right to use Russian interpretation at the meetings, but the chairman must ensure that their main language is still Estonian.