Kaljulaid: Estonia has made up for 25 years of lost economic ground by now

President Kersti Kaljulaid with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda at the Day of Restoration of Independence reception at Kadriorg Palace's Rose Garden. Aug. 20, 2019. Source: Aurelia Minev/ERR

Speaking live to ERR from the Rose Garden at Kadriorg Palace on Tuesday night, President Kersti Kaljulaid said that within the next 28 years, Estonia will have made up for the economic damages caused by the Soviet occupation.

28 years after Estonia regained its independence, broadcast host Karmel Killandi asked Kaljulaid what Estonia would be like another 28 years from now.

"I believe that 28 years from now, Estonia will have definitely surpassed the economic underdevelopment caused by the occupation," she replied, noting that the country is currently only halfway there. "We're at the point where Finland was in 1995, which means that we've made up for about 25 years of this loss. So I believe that by that time we will have made it in that regard."

According to the Estonian head of state, the people of Estonia will also have learned as a society by then to be caring of everyone who needs their help.

"Because a welfare state doesn't mean a lot of money; rather, it means that everyone is happy here, and that they feel supported," she explained. "That our society has less evil and violence, that people with disabilities and their loved ones don't have to worry about their services, that the elderly don't have to worry about whether their lives will end up sad or beautiful. We will be more capable of all of this then than we are today."

Kaljulaid also added she was very glad that Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda was able to join her in celebrations on Aug. 20.

"There were clearly more Lithuanian signatories on the [1979] Baltic Appeal, and we know that Lithuania also suffered losses," she acknowledged. "So I believe that it was very important that for once in history, Lithuanians were able to speak at our Aug. 20 celebration."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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