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What the papers say: Teach your neighbor Estonian, Lidl prices, pensions

Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (picture is illustrative). Source: Postimees/Scanpix

On Sept. 25 the papers were still mainly discussing the budget, pension increase, and the case of the missing former head of Danske Bank in Estonia, Aivar Rehe. But here are some other stories and comments that were also in the news on Wednesday.

 All links in Estonian unless otherwise mentioned.

Even €45 is a lot for some pensioners

Postimees business journalist Erik Aru wrote that one of the saddest things about the pension increase is how much money it would be to some pensioners. With 300,000 pensioners living on an average of €485 euros a month, almost 40 percent of the average wage, this is less than the poverty threshold of €523 defined in 2017. He also said that, in this regard, Estonia does not compare well to the rest of the European Union. With the extraordinary increase of €7 and the indexation rise of €38, pensioners will receive an additional €45 a month from April 2020. Not the €100 they were promised before the election in March by the Centre Party.

Lidl won't push down prices

The head of the Estonian branch of supermarket chain Maxima denied in an interview with daily newspaper Postimees that Lidl entering the market would push prices down. Edvinas Volkas said that because the German discount supermarket offers its own brands rather than local produce they may not be very successful in the Estonian market. He said he was pleased the brand was entering the Estonian market as it brings new competition, currently, Maxima has around 18 percent of the market share in Estonia. Volkas also said Maxima had found it difficult to find new staff but said he believed it was their job to train and invest in staff, as well as help them learn Estonian. He said he did not see the need for Maxima to open at 24-hour store like Prisma has recently done.

Don't wait, start teaching Estonian to your neighbours

Eesti Päevaleht's columnist Kaire Uusen wrote that if people could understand that the Estonian language "is really needed in everyday life in Estonia, not just to raise the spirits of Estonians, or to protect the language," then teaching Estonian would be in a better shape. Writing about Estonian Language Week, Uusen mentioned an initiative for Estonians abroad to teach friends and colleagues simple Estonian words, but expressed exasperation that the same initiative was not being tried every day in Estonia. The column suggests seven ways that Estonians can help other people learn the language. These include partnering learners with Estonian speakers, creating posters with simple phrases and putting them in public places, volunteer teachers, and smiling when teaching.

Estonia's turn to strike

Columnist Erik Moora writes in weekly newspaper Eesti Ekspress that on Friday it will be Estonia's turn to strike for climate change. Protests will take place in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Rakvere, Kärdla from 12.00 noon until 2 p.m. He also questions why people are sneering at Greta Thunberg's recent speech at the UN climate conference: "Why should this 16-year-old be the world's best orator?" 

Record pumpkin donation for Tallinn Zoo

Newspaper Maaleht reported that a record 12 pallets of pumpkins have so far been donated to the animals at Tallinn Zoo. The eighth big pumpkin party will take place on Oct. 26th, the paper said. Last year couriers DPD transported more than 17 tons of donated pumpkins to the zoo's residents for free. 


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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