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Over 70 foreign journalists to visit Estonia for start of EU presidency

Reporters and cameras outside of Stenbock House. August 2016. Photo is illustrative.
Reporters and cameras outside of Stenbock House. August 2016. Photo is illustrative. Source: (Sander Ilvest/Postimees/Scanpix)

More than 70 foreign journalists, including reporters from leading publications, are to arrive in Tallinn on Wednesday to report on the start of Estonia's presidency of the Council of the EU.

"58 journalists are to arrive from Brussels and 13 from Latvia and Lithuania, as well as two culture journalists from Belgium who will also take part in the program," Estonian EU presidency spokesperson Maris Hellrand told BNS on Tuesday.

According to Hellrand, journalists from the BBC, Politico, Financial Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, El Pais, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Spiegel, Le Monde, Le Figaro, EuroNews, Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Economist and New York Times will take part in the press visit from Thursday to Friday. In addition, reporters from other member states are also expected, she added.

The journalists will meet with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kadri Simson, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo and Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt.

Reporters will also be briefed by Director for EU Affairs at the Government Office Klen Jäärats, Deputy Secretary General for Defence Policy Kristjan Prikk and NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCDCOE) director Sven Sakkov.

Foreign journalists will also get to visit the e-Estonia showroom and Estonian IT companies at Ülemiste, as well as meet with leading Estonian IT entrepreneurs.

Some of the foreign journalists will leave Estonia on Friday evening, while others will remain for the weekend. They will have the opportunity to attend an outing to Kõrvemaa Nature Reserve in Northern Estonia as well as to Käsmu village, where they can visit a smoke sauna. They will also be taken to visit Tapa Army Base, where they will meet with Commander of the Estonian Defense Forces Gen. Riho Terras. Other opportunities available to them will include a visit the island of Prangli and a dance performance of the Youth Song and Dance Festival, which begins on Friday.

On Sunday, the visiting journalists can watch the Youth Song and Dance Festival parade in the morning and attend the youth song festival in the afternoon.

The visit will be partially covered by the Estonian state, with a budget of €70,000, Hellrand said. "But there are some big international publications which always cover their own costs," she added, noting that there wre about 12 such publications.

According to Hellrand, approximately 1,000 journalists from around the world are expected to visit Estonia during the country's EU presidency, but their costs will not be covered by the state.

Estonia's presidency of the Council of the EU begins on Saturday, July 1 and will run through Dec. 31.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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