On 30th anniversary, Ratas thanks contributors to Popular Front

The 30th anniversary of the Estonian Popular Front was marked with an event held at the Estonian National Library in Tallinn on Sunday. 30 September 2018.
The 30th anniversary of the Estonian Popular Front was marked with an event held at the Estonian National Library in Tallinn on Sunday. 30 September 2018. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Speaking at an event marking the 30th anniversary of the Estonian Popular Front (Rahvarinne) on Sunday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) thanked everyone who contributed to the popular movement.

"I wish to thank everyone who at the time contributed to the Popular Front, whether it was by participating in the founding congress, the presidency or as member of the council, by working hard as an ordinary member, supporting them with a good word or in their thoughts," Ratas said. "It was all necessary, and contributed towards the success of the Popular Front as well as achieving the dream that was increasingly harder for our nation to disguise at the time."

The prime minister said that it was very much due to the Popular Front's activities 30 years ago that Estonians have the privilege of commemorating as a free nation the history of their state, both the common achievements as well as darker times.

According to Ratas, the Estonian Popular Front was the force that united hundreds of thousands of people and infused them with the legendary declaration by Heinz Valk that "One day, no matter what, we will win!" This was evident in the number of people that met at Tallinn's Song Festival Grounds as well as in the Baltic Chain, an unprecedented instance of cooperation between the three Baltic states and nations, he added, saying that these events were unique both in their extent as well as their importance to the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Estonia.

Ratas noted that with some events, it is difficult to grasp their historical value, while with others, it is evident. "On some occasions, however, we forget how important or pivotal a situation was," he admitted. "Unfortunately, at times it is much the same with actions, people and organisations."

In today's political fray, too, it sometimes seems as though some parties are expressing ideas that diametrically oppose ours or propose solutions we deem incomprehensible, he continued.

"With all that, it's easy to forget that we only have one Republic of Estonia to share," Ratas said. "I dare to believe that all politicians have in mind the best intentions for our state, both in their thoughts and actions."

The prime minister called for appreciation of the Estonian Popular Front, the Estonian Heritage Society, the Estonian National Independence Party, the nonpartisan political movement of Estonian Citizens' Committees, the Congress of Estonia and all other popular initiatives as well as today's citizens' associations and political forces.

A conference was held at the Estonian National Library on Sunday marking the 30th anniversary of the congress that founded the Estonian Popular Front, which took place at Linnahall on 1-2 October 1988.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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