Prime minister: Culture minister follows cabinet line on vaccinations

29.07.21 POLITICS ... Culture minister Anneli Ott (Center) is following th government line in terms of messages concerning coronavirus vaccinations, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says. In an article published last weekend by daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL), Ott had said that vaccination should be a matter of individual choice and should not be enforced by the authorities.

Political scientist: Kaljulaid's Riigikogu candidacy cannot be ruled out

29.07.21 POLITICS ... Although Center Party's Riigikogu group chairman Jaanus Karilaid has ruled out that Kersti Kaljulaid could continue as the president of Estonia, political scientist Martin Mölder told ERR that Kaljulaid being re-elected through the regional electoral colleges is still possible.

SDE leader: We would back Kaljulaid for second term if others do

29.07.21 2021 ELECTIONS ... Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Indrek Saar said his party would back Kersti Kaljulaid for a second term as Estonian president, adding that if she were not to receive wider backing, the party would consider other candidates. He has also expressed skepticism over the claimed Reform/Center agreement on a candidate.

Prime minister hits out at pace of coronavirus vaccination in Estonia

29.07.21 CORONAVIRUS ... The pace of vaccination against coronavirus in Estonia is currently too slow, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says. Changes may be needed at management level to resolve the issue, she adds.

US Army V Corps commander: Relationship with Estonia of key importance

29.07.21 NEWS ... Commander of the United States Army's V Corps, Lieutenant General John S. Kolasheski, says that Estonia and her defense forces are a key ally, a fact that will continue to emerge as V Corps – reconstituted last fall – expands its activities in Europe.

Center leader Ratas may endorse Tarmo Soomere as presidential candidate

29.07.21 2021 ELECTIONS ... Center Party leader and speaker of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas may be proposing academic Tarmo Soomere as a presidential candidate, ERR reports.

MEP: Presidential election process neglecting importance of foreign policy

28.07.21 NEWS ... The quest for a presidential candidate ahead of the election process starting at the end of August has lost sight of the importance of a head of state who can effectively represent Estonia at an international level and in its foreign policy goals, Reform MEP Urmas Paet says. To that extent, former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves would be suitable, he added.

Former speaker: Coalition looking for presidential pawn it can control

28.07.21 POLITICS ... Presidential potential candidate and former Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) says that the coalition is looking for a lap-dog in its candidate compromise. At the same time, he says he does not think the Riigikogu rounds of balloting will be successful in appointing Estonia's next president, adding that while he would be up to the task himself, the lack of privacy the office brings with it would be an issue.

Ratings: Reform passes 30 percent support mark

28.07.21 POLITICS ... While support for the coalition Reform Party and for the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) have both been rising – in Reform's case to beyond the 30 percent mark, the coalition Center Party has seen its support move in the opposite direction, and is now lower than at any time in recent years.

Karilaid rules out supporting Kaljulaid for second presidential term

27.07.21 NEWS ... Chairman of the Center Party Faction of the Riigikogu Jaanus Karilaid criticized President Kersti Kaljulaid's actions as president and essentially ruled out supporting her for a second term.

Kallas and Ratas to introduce presidential candidates to party groups

26.07.21 NEWS ... The Reform and Center parties have found potential presidential candidates and will introduce them to the party factions on Monday.

Minister: Lithuania migrant influx constitutes hybrid attack

24.07.21 NEWS ... A recent surge in illegal migration into Lithuania represents a hybrid attack on that country and the region and European Union as a whole, defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform) says.

Mart Helme likely to run in Lasnamäe

24.07.21 NEWS ... Deputy Chairman of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) Mart Helme said he will run in Tallinn and likely in the Lasnamäe borough at the upcoming local government council elections.

Defense Forces military band budget to be halved

24.07.21 NEWS ... The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) military band is to have its annual budget cut in half, with the bulk of its workforce – which itself will be downsized – to work part-time rather than full-time. The announcement follows speculation about the orchestra's future after removing it altogether or placing it under another authority was suggested as an austerity measure.

Ethics chief: Ministry secretaries are responsible for monitoring funds

23.07.21 NEWS ... The anti-corruption buck stops at any government ministry with that ministry's secretary general, head of the Council of Ethics of Officials (Ametnikueetika nõukogu) Heiki Sibul says. Sibul made his remarks in the context of fresh allegations that former education minister Mailis Reps (Center) misused ministry funds and resources for non-official purposes.

Nurses union considering strike action

22.07.21 POLITICS ... Nurses in Estonia say they are considering strike action after a long-running labor dispute broke down earlier in the summer. At the heart of the matter is nurses' work conditions and the application to specialist nurses. Health minister Tanel Kiik (Center) said that while his ministry will listen to the nurses union's grievances, a collective agreement which was struck without their involvement is still a fait accompli for the next two years.

Government working towards keeping society open for those vaccinated

22.07.21 CORONAVIRUS ... The government is discussing on Thursday options for offering greater freedoms to those who have been vaccinated against coronavirus from August, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) has said.

Party ratings: Reform fall in support ends, EKRE consolidates second place

21.07.21 2021 ELECTIONS ... A continued fall in support for the coalition Reform Party has slowed over summer, while the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has consolidated its position as second-most-widely-supported party, according to a recent survey.

Prime minister on vacation for rest of July

20.07.21 POLITICS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) is on vacation for most of the rest of July. Minister for Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) is deputizing for her during that time.

Reps steps down as Center Party deputy chair, party group leader

20.07.21 NEWS ... Former minister of education and research Mailis Reps is stepping down as leader of the Center Party group in the parliament as well as from the position of deputy chair of the party. Reps is currently being investigated for misuse of government money.

Center discussing Mailis Reps' future after new scandal

20.07.21 NEWS ... The Center Party is discussing the future of deputy party leader and former education minister Mailis Reps after it was reported that the ministry paid for her 45th birthday dinner at a fancy Tallinn restaurant.

Estonia sending €200,000 aid to Lithuania amid migrant influx

17.07.21 NEWS ... Estonia is providing €200,000-worth of assistance to Lithuania, to help the southernmost Baltic State in dealing with an upsurge in numbers crossing its border with Belarus.

EU climate goals package meets mixed reception with Estonian politicians

15.07.21 NEWS ... The European Union's long-range climate neutrality proposals package was rolled out Wednesday and has been met both by enthusiasm, by environment minister Tõnis Mölder (Center), who notes it is tailored to Estonia's biggest challenge in the area, the oil shale sector, and by rejection by leader of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), Martin Helme, who has dismissed it as 'insanity'.

Minister on 100 years of diplomatic ties: Italy and Estonia great partners

15.07.21 NEWS ... Italy and Estonia have a strong relationship in defense and security, digital issues, business, culture and more, foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said.

AK: EDF personnel take part in Bastille Day parade

15.07.21 NEWS ... Estonian special forces soldiers took part in the official Bastille Day parade in Paris Wednesday, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reports.

AK: About a third of schools fail to meet COVID-19 ventilation requirements

13.07.21 CORONAVIRUS ... Around a third of Estonia's schools do not meet the required levels of ventilation, ahead of the new school year and any potential further coronavirus waves, education minister Liina Kersna (Reform) says. Only around half the local authorities in Estonia have made use of around thirty million euros earmarked for this purpose so far.

Bigbank owner donates €100,000 to Isamaa Party

12.07.21 NEWS ... Bigbank owner Parvel Pruunsild made a donation of €100,000 to Isamaa Party in the second quarter of 2021. Entrepreneur Koit Uus supported Center Party and Reform Party with €30,000 for each.

AK: Estonia border patrols stepped up in wake of Lithuania crisis

10.07.21 NEWS ... Estonia's border preparedness has been boosted, particularly on its eastern frontier, in response to the migration crisis facing Lithuania which has seen a surge in the number of people crossing its border illegally from neighboring Belarus in what foreign affairs committee chairs from inside and outside the European Union have called the use of migrants and the curtailing of their human rights by the Alexander Lukashenko regime aimed at attempting to reach political goals.

US congressional delegation reiterates commitment to Estonia

08.07.21 NEWS ... The United States stands by its NATO allies, including Estonia, and despite security and other challenges in the region, the leaders of a high-level delegation of senators and congress people say.

Kallas: It is important that Estonia has representation in Belarus

08.07.21 NEWS ... While several Estonian politicians have criticized the Foreign Ministry's decision to appoint a new ambassador of Estonia to Belarus, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that it is important that Estonia should have representation in the state.

European Parliament approves funding earmarked for Rail Baltica project

08.07.21 NEWS ... The European Parliament has given the green-light to funding which will provide the bulk of the support for the planned Rail Baltica high speed link.

Former PM: Finland has never decided to support Estonia in risk situations

08.07.21 POLITICS ... Referring to the Finnish government's discussions about tightening entry restrictions, former Estonian prime minister and long-time politician Siim Kallas (Reform) said the Finnish government has never made decisions that would support Estonia in risky situations.

Party ratings: EKRE closes gap further on Reform

07.07.21 POLITICS ... The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has seen its support continuing to rise according to a recent weekly poll. Support for the larger of the two coalition parties, Reform, has remained static, meaning the gap between the two has closed further.

Russian authorities in St. Petersburg detain Estonian consul

06.07.21 NEWS ... Russian authorities detained an Estonian diplomat in St. Petersburg for around an hour-and-a-half on Tuesday. The grounds for his detention was "receiving classified materials", Russian news portal RIA Novosti reported.

EKRE elects Mart Helme, Henn Põlluaas and Jaak Madison as deputy chairmen

05.07.21 POLITICS ... The Conservative People's Party of Estonia's (EKRE) congress on Sunday elected Martin Helme to continue as party chairman and Mart Helme, Henn Põlluaas and Jaak Madison as deputy party chairmen.

Kiik: Health Board's information about ruined vaccines was too optimistic

02.07.21 NEWS ... The Health Board's initial e-mail about the sudden rise in temperature in the cold store, which ruined hundreds of thousands of medicines and vaccines, suggested the incident was less serious than it turned out to be, Minister of Health and Labor Tanel Kiik (Center) said on Friday.

Parties still searching for potential presidential candidates

02.07.21 NEWS ... On August 30, the Riigikogu will meet to elect Estonia's next president. But with less than two months to go, there is still no election campaign to speak of.

Mahatma Gandhi monument to be erected in Tallinn's Mustamäe

01.07.21 NEWS ... A three-meter-high memorial to Indian national hero Mahatma Gandhi will be erected in Mustamäe in Tallinn this autumn. The bronze sculpture will be constructed in India and sent to Estonia.

EKRE gains almost 1,000 members in six months

01.07.21 NEWS ... More than 900 people have become members of EKRE in the last six months, party membership figures show. Over 100 people have left both the Reform and Center parties.

Maritime spatial plan rejected due to lack of environmental protection

30.06.21 NEWS ... The Ministry of the Environment is refusing to approve the maritime spatial plan submitted by the Ministry of Finance as the aim of protecting the environment has not been pushed to one side.

Kaljulaid promulgates ABIS cross-use of data law

29.06.21 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid promulgated the personal database systems establishment act (ABIS) passed by the Riigikogu on 15 June and said it is not against the constitution.

President Kersti Kaljulaid starts working visit to USA

28.06.21 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid starts a week-long working visit to the U.S. on Monday. During her trip, she will meet with the UN secretary-general and chair a UN Security Council meeting.

Former prime minister joins PERH hospital supervisory board

28.06.21 NEWS ... Former prime minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) has joined the board of Tallinn's North Estonia Medical Center (PERH). His term starts on July 1 and lasts for three years.

'Rahva teenrid': Isamaa's treatment of in-house opposition interesting

26.06.21 NEWS ... Chairman of the opposition Isamaa party Helir-Valdor Seeder, who was recently elected for a second term, threw members of Isamaa's in-house opposition overboard in his general assembly speech. Changes to the party's statute make evicting members easier, which is why it will be interesting to see what Isamaa will do about its dissidents and where they will land on election lists, journalists found on the Vikerraadio "Rahva teenrid" talk show.

European Parliament signs off on €243-billion post-pandemic funds

25.06.21 NEWS ... The European Parliament has officially adopted regional cohesion funds to the total of €243 billion, issued primarily in response to the coronavirus pandemic and which Estonia is likely eligible for a chunk of.

MEPs confirm deal on climate neutrality by 2050

25.06.21 POLITICS ... The European Parliament has endorsed the Climate Law, transforming the European Green Deal for a political commitment to climate neutrality by 2050, to a legally binding obligation.

EU-Russia talks fall through for time being, Estonia still concerned

25.06.21 POLITICS ... The lack of support from European Union member states for a call for talks with the Russian Federation, sponsored by the leaders of France and Germany, while encouraging, does not mean that such initiatives may not go ahead in future. Meanwhile, that the proposal fell through should not mean any bilateral meetings between Russia and any union member state should happen instead, one Estonian Member of the European Parliament says.

Study: Journalists in Estonia not shy of adding context to news items

25.06.21 NEWS ... While journalistic input into news pieces can be perceived as biased in some cases, intervention in text in placing things into context can also bring with it positive aspects, ERR journalist Grete-Liina Roosve finds in her bachelor's thesis recently defended at the University of Tartu.

Kallas wants to know justification behind proposed new EU-Russia summit

24.06.21 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said she wants to know the reasoning behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron proposing a new EU-Russia summit as nothing has changed.

Estonia joins several other EU nations in condemning Hungary LGBT+ stance

23.06.21 NEWS ... Estonia has joined twelve other European Union member states from across the bloc in issuing a statement condemning recent legal amendments passed by the parliament of Hungary and put forward by the prime minister of that country, Viktor Orban, who has been in office over a decade, and his party, Fidesz, which would bar the teaching of LGBT+, gender and related matters in schools in Hungary.
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