What the papers say: Brexit, museum to exhibit Tartu bar top, free books

Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

On Monday, Oct. 21, the papers in Estonia wrote about Brexit, the fate of the bar top at legendary Tartu dive bar Zavood, a new charge for weddings held at the city government building in Pärnu, a driver in Lääne-Viru County who knowingly gave police the wrong ID, and a free book fair in a small Järva County village.

'If they ask, let's give the Brits more time'

The British have kept the world in suspense for 1,215 days already, and their inability to work their way out of this political dead-end of their own doing isn't even particularly funny anymore, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) writes in an editorial (link in Estonian).

Born of political foolishness and miscalculations, the entire travesty is undermining democracy not just in the U.K., but also all of Europe, and has illustrated the dangers of direct democracy in the form of yes/no referendums held on complex issues.

While supporters of a second referendum have a point in that the voting base itself has changed since the first one held in June 2016, as have voters' understanding of the impacts of Brexit, the paper noted that opinion polls indicate that a decisive change has not occurred in the ratio of those for versus those against leaving, and so the stalemate could well continue following a repeat referendum as well.

It bears repeating that the 2016 referendum was held with the intention of asking the electorate whether the U.K. should remain in the EU or not and the results are not legally binding for the British Parliament, meaning that, in theory, British politicians could abandon the plan even without holding a new referendum, but the U.K.'s next steps are their own, not Estonia's, to decide.

Estonia has a say and a vote on whether or not to grant the U.K. yet another extension if they ask for it — and according to the paper, Estonia should grant it too, no matter how annoying the Brits' indecisiveness is, because they are nonetheless Estonia's friends and allies.

Bar top from legendary Tartu dive bar donated to museum

The original pinewood bar top from Tartu dive bar Zavood, which first opened in 1995, was replaced last Friday in order to be able to take up its new position as a piece of history to be exhibited at the University of Tartu Museum, regional paper Tartu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The museum is opening a new permanent exhibition titled "My Life's University" ("Minu elu ülikool"), aimed at capturing the leisure opportunities of Tartu university students throughout the years, and Zavood's bar top will be included as a token of the 1990s.

"During the 90s, all the bars tried to be fancy, but Zavood was quite the opposite phenomenon; it was such a different place with its simplicity, heaviness and choice of music," University of Tartu Museum project director Külli Lupkin recalled.

The museum wants to include original drinking glasses from the bar as well, which clients even unintentionally left with often enough over the years, but according to Lupkin, they haven't found anyone who is still owns them.
"All along, Zavood has tried to be a very democratic and tolerant place where everyone is welcome," owner Mario Pizzolante said, adding that it's heartwarming to occasionally see old clients come in together with their grown children to enjoy the bar.

Pärnu to start charging for hall weddings at city government building 

Beginning next year, the City of Pärnu will begin charging for marriage registrations in the third-floor hall of the city government building, as according to city government spokesperson Teet Roosaar, there are costs involved in the use of the hall, regional paper Pärnu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

Options marrying couples currently have include registering their marriage for free with a Vital Statistics Office official on weekdays or in the office's Newlyweds Room on Wednesdays and Fridays, or in the third-floor hall of the city government building, at Pärnu City Hall, or at another location of their choice.

Until now, getting married at the city government building was free, while use of the hall at City Hall costs €40, and booking an officiant costs €150 within Pärnu and €350 elsewhere in Pärnu County.

Use of the third-floor hall at the city government building, which has a maximum capacity of approximately 70 people, will cost €30 for the first half hour and €10 for each additional half hour.

Driver stopped by police pretends to be someone else

Over the weekend, the driver of a vehicle stopped by police pretended to be someone else, writes regional paper Virumaa Teataja (link in Estonian).

On Oct. 19, police stopped the driver of a BMW in Lääne-Viru County's Vinni Municipality. When asked for ID, the 24-year-old male driver of the vehicle knowingly presented police with the driver's license of another man.

Free books in Päinurme

Päinurme Library in Järva County's Järva Municipality is hosting a free book fair through next Wednesday, Oct. 30, regional paper Järvamaa Teataja writes (link in Estonian).

The free books will be accessible during the library's hours of operation, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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