Estonia 200 third party to conclude trade union accord

Peep Peterson of the EAKL.
Peep Peterson of the EAKL. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Estonia 200, one of two parties contesting their first general election, has signed an agreement with the Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL).

The agreement concluded between Estonia 200 leader Kristina Kallas, and EAKL chief Peep Peterson, is the third of its kind; the EAKL has similar agreements in place with Centre and the Social Democratic Party (SDE).

"[Our] Common ground with Estonia 200 is considerable, and the important themes highlighted in the content of the cooperation agreement include issues related to ensuring economic growth, new labor relations, knowledge, health, the sustainability of the pension system, unemployment and taxes," said Peep Peterson of the agreement.

Ms Kallas added that the development of labour relations via social dialogue is important, since the working condition are changing and require a trilateral responsibility between employers, employees and government. MS Kallas also said that her party sees the greatest common ground with the EAKL in the field of health and knowledge.

The EAKL had already presented its stance on issues to all the parties in September 2018, ahead of the 3 March parliamentary election and European Parliament elections in May.

Estonia 200 plane vandalism

Meanwhile, a police investigation has begun into an act of vandalism carried out on a light aeroplane belonging to Estonia 200 members and seemingly used for promotional purposes.

The plane, a Piper single-engine model, had been placed in various locations in Tallinn by or on behalf of Meelis Niinepuu and Toomas Uibo, who are running for Estonia 200. Media reports showed it parked in the car park at the junction of Gonsiori and Laikmaa streets in central Tallinn, with one smashed cockpit window panel and some other damage, thought to have occurred after an individual climbed on to the plane's roof. Some reports state the act of vandalism happened in the vicinity of the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), which is housed in the Kalamaja district of Tallinn.

"Unfortunately, the evening and night attracted some people who wished to test how strong the material was of which the plane's window was made," Mr Niinepuu said.

The incident may have been caught on security camera, and a section of a culprit's clothing was left behind at the scene, it is reported.

The plane does not display any obvious Estonia 200 logo, candidate or related decals, and is marked with the slogan ''helping low flights fly higher''. It is not reported whether the plane was airworthy prior to being vandalised.

In accordance with electoral law, outdoor campaign advertising was banned from 23 January. Some parties have tried to get round this, for instance by placing advertising on movable trailers which are then parked in prominent places (in the case of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia) or having indoor advertisements visible at street level (in the case of the Centre Party). Campaign advertising on media channels, via leafleting, at campaign tents and in newspapers, for instance, is still not only permitted but very much in use by most parties.

The general election is on Sunday.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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