Politics

Speaker to Canadian counterpart: Our two countries enjoy great relations

11.05.21 NEWS ... Canada and Estonia have deep-rooted relations, manifest in areas including defense and security and climate change issues, Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) says.

Jüri Luik leaving Riigikogu for foreign service post

11.05.21 NEWS ... Former defense minister Jüri Luik (Isamaa) is to leave the Riigikogu and rejoin the foreign service next month, and is reportedly likely to be Estonia's next permanent representative to NATO, in Brussels.

Culture minister: Integration in Estonia generally a consistent success

11.05.21 NEWS ... A lack of contact between ethnic Estonians and inhabitants of Estonia from other nationalities continues to be a cause for concern, culture minister Anneli Ott (Center) says. Ott added that on the whole, the integration process over the past 20 years has been a success.

Kaljulaid does not rule out running for president again

10.05.21 POLITICS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid said she does not rule out running for president again in elections in the fall and added that she could also end up going into politics.

Prime minister: Poland remains key ally for Estonia

08.05.21 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says Poland remains a strong and viable ally for Estonia, both in infrastructure and security arenas, as well as in business.

Finance minister on maternity leave from late summer

08.05.21 NEWS ... Finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) is to go on maternity leave in late summer. Current justice minister Maris Lauri (Reform) will deputize for her while she is on leave.

Kaljulaid, 20 other presidents: Let's ponder the EU's present and future

08.05.21 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid has joined 20 of her European counterparts in marking European Day, May 9, in a joint statement calling for action to ensure future generations will benefit from today's Europe.

Finance minister: We have money for good projects to shape the future

07.05.21 OPINION ... On Thursday, Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) gave a speech in Riigikogu about how Estonia will use EU funds in the coming years. She outlined her vision for Estonia as a leader in sustainability and the green economy and gave an overview of how EU funds are to be used to achieve this goal. ERR News has republished the minister's speech.

Russian aircraft violates Estonian air space for second time in three days

07.05.21 NEWS ... A Russian Federation aircraft violated the Estonian airspace border on Friday (May 7) morning, the second time in three days.

MEP: Kõlvart could be next Center Party leader

07.05.21 NEWS ... If chairman of the Center Party Jüri Ratas was to be elected president later this year, current Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart could be the new leader of the party, MEP Yana Toom said in an interview with newspaper Eesti Päevaleht.

Minister: If restrictions followed now, summer events may happen

07.05.21 NEWS ... Some cultural events may be viable for summer, particularly late summer, but restrictions will need to be in place and followed in the approaching weeks, culture minister Anneli Ott (Center) says.

Kallas: Government has nine more tasks to perform to complete 100-day plan

06.05.21 NEWS ... The government has fulfilled almost 90 percent of the tasks it set for the first 100 days and there are still nine tasks to be carried out, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).

Minister: Young families should not be obstructed in home loan applications

06.05.21 ECONOMY ... Economics affairs minister Taavi Aas (Center) has said options for young families to obtain home loan guarantees from state agency KredEx should not be curtailed. Aas made his remarks Wednesday, following a Bank of Estonia announcement that the KredEx guarantees regime – which can see borrowers obtain loans of up to 90 percent of a property's value – should be tightened up, to avoid a real estate bubble and ensuing levels of too-high household debt.

AK: Riigikogu cagey on next president prognosis

06.05.21 POLITICS ... How the autumn's presidential elections may pan out has been a topic for hot debate, if not among the public, within the Riigikogu – the body which gets the first shot at picking a candidate via a series of ballots. Names have not been announced to the public, who do not get a say in who will be president in any case, yet.

Mart Luik leaves politics to become Tallinn's business director

05.05.21 NEWS ... Deputy chairman of the Tallinn City Council Mart Luik will step back from politics to take up the role of business director of Tallinn. He will start later this month.

Party leaders: Jüri Ratas not yet approached us on potential presidency bid

05.05.21 NEWS ... Leaders of Estonia's political parties say that just as Jüri Ratas (Center) has not publicly thrown his hat in the ring as to a potential presidential bid later this year, he has not approached them privately, in an effort to sound out their support, either. The Reform Party does not seem to be as firmly behind a second term for the incumbent, Kersti Kaljulaid, as it had earlier been, however.

Foreign minister to UN: Estonia committed to human rights and freedoms

05.05.21 NEWS ... Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets says that Estonia is committed to the preservation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Liimets made her comments during a remote-linked UN Human Rights Council meeting Tuesday afternoon, where Estonia's national report on the issues was formally presented.

Party ratings: Reform continue to lose support, EKRE gaining ground

05.05.21 NEWS ... The Reform Party has lost ground while the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) continues to gain and is now practically neck-and-neck iin support with coalition party Center, according to a recent survey, which aggregates results over the past four weeks.

Isamaa expels mass membership drive organizer

04.05.21 NEWS ... Isamaa has expelled a party member behind the wholesale transfer of members from an anti-immigration group, and has also chosen not to process the applications of his followers, citing damage to the party's reputation.

Priit Sibul appointed new Isamaa representative on ERR supervisory board

04.05.21 NEWS ... Isamaa Riigikogu group chair Priit Sibul has been appointed to the supervisory board of public broadcaster ERR, replacing the outgoing Viktoria Ladõnskaja-Kubits.

Prime minister: Ratas' budget strategy criticisms odd given his involvement

04.05.21 NEWS ... Riigikogu speaker and former prime minister Jüri Ratas' criticisms of the recently-unveiled state budget strategy are puzzling, given he was involved in discussions on the topic and his party, Center, is one of the two coalition partners which reached an agreement on the strategy, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says.

Portal: Center MP appears to use vehicle to intimidate protestor

04.05.21 NEWS ... A Center Party MP appeared to use his vehicle as a weapon against a protestor outside the Riigikogu Monday, news portal Delfi reports. The MP has since apologized for the incident, in which no injuries were sustained.

Center Party expects foreign affairs, interior ministers to join party

03.05.21 POLITICS ... Center Party Secretary-General Andre Hanimägi said the party expects Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets and Minister of the Interior Kristian Jaani, who were appointed ministers as part of Center's government delegation, to formally join the party.

Kaljulaid visiting Poland to mark May 3 Constitution anniversary

03.05.21 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid will visit Poland on Monday to celebrate the 230th anniversary of the May 3 Constitution of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

'Samost ja Sildam': State budget strategy only interim document

02.05.21 OPINION ... While the state budget strategy for 2022-2025, which austerity measures totaling cuts of €61 million in a year, may have passed government approval this week, the document is interim in nature and unlikely to form a solid basis for government activities going forward, senior ERR journalists Anvar Samost and Toomas Sildam say.

Deputy mayor suspected of taking prohibited donation

30.04.21 NEWS ... A deputy mayor of Tallinn is suspected of taking prohibited donation to finance his election campaign, daily newspaper Postimees writes.

Civil servant salaries increased more than average in 2020

30.04.21 NEWS ... The average monthly salary of a civil servant in Estonia rose by 3.8 percent last year to €1,948 while the average salary rose by 2.9 percent. Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop had the highest salary at over €80,000.

Prime minister visiting Ida-Viru County on Friday

30.04.21 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) will make an official visit to Ida-Viru County on Friday to discuss the pandemic, green revolution and the region's economic prospects.

Lithuanian PM doubts need for Baltic 'travel bubble'

29.04.21 NEWS ... Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte doubts if there is a need for a Baltic "travel bubble" at a time when a EU-wide green certificate is being created to facilitate free movement within the bloc.

Isamaa leadership: Rahva Tahe episode is harming us ahead of elections

29.04.21 NEWS ... The recent corporate joining of the opposition Isamaa party has put the organization's reputation on the line, leading members say. Over four hundred members of a non-parliamentary party applied to join Isamaa at the same time, at a time when it has seen an internal challenge on its direction, met with a crackdown on internal dissent and the postponement of leadership elections.

Riigikogu continues to distance work

29.04.21 NEWS ... Members of the Riigikogu have agreed to continue distance working until at least the end of May due to the coronavirus situation.

Government endorses 2022-2025 state budget strategy

29.04.21 NEWS ... The government has approved the state budget strategy for 2022-2025, after the two coalition parties, Reform and Center, reached agreement during negotiations this week.

President introduces Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund principles

29.04.21 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid will introduce a new international fund for investing in transport, energy and digital infrastructure to Baltic companies at a virtual seminar today.

Finance minister: Ministries must cut spend by €60 million in 2022

29.04.21 NEWS ... Government ministries must be prepared to make spending cuts to the tune of €60 million next year, finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) says.

MEP Yana Toom: Much less substance to corona passport than could be

29.04.21 CORONAVIRUS ... On Wednesday, the European Parliament green-lighted discussions over the development of a coronavirus passport by mid-June. MEP Yana Toom said the certificate has much less substance than hoped for.

Last leader of Estonian SSR may be honored by City of Tallinn

28.04.21 NEWS ... The last leader of the Estonian Communist Party, Vaino Väljas, has been nominated to receive a coat of arms from Tallinn City Government. Still resident in Tallinn, Väljas, 90, was party leader during the period leading up to Estonian independence, and was an important figure during that period.

Minister: Government has reached agreement on budget strategy

28.04.21 ECONOMY ... Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) confirmed that the government has reached a compromise on the state budget strategy discussions and the strategy will be approved on Thursday.

Defense minister: Horror stories of defense budget cuts not true

28.04.21 NEWS ... Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) said that tales of the government planning to make cuts to the national defense budget are not true and defense spending is instead set to increase in the near future.

Party ratings: No real change, rate of Reform support loss slowing

28.04.21 POLITICS ... Reform remain the most-supported political party in Estonia according to a recent survey. In ratings which have changed little since the preceding week, the pollsters say, Center, in office with Reform, remain in second place, with opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in third as before.

SDE and Eesti 200 form Viljandi alliance ahead of local elections

28.04.21 NEWS ... The Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Eesti 200 have made an electoral pact to run on a joint list in the South Estonian town of Viljandi, at October's local elections.

Estonia added to Kremlin list of countries deemed 'unfriendly' to Russia

28.04.21 NEWS ... Russian authorities have placed Estonia on a list of states they consider 'unfriendly', a Kremlin-controlled TV channel announced Tuesday evening. Estonia joins the United States, the United Kingdom and several other blacklisted states.

Mass joining by Rahva Tahe members boosts Isamaa numbers 5 percent in a day

27.04.21 NEWS ... The opposition Isamaa party's Tartu regional branch board accepted 403 new members on Monday, most of whom joined in the wake of Madis Sütt, some-time founder of the non-parliamentary Rahva Tahe party. Considering there are 7,731 members in the party according to the business register data, the membership increased by 5.2 percent in that one day and stemming a general trend for a fall in party membership in recent years.

President: Western Europe should follow Estonia's lead in Czech solidarity

27.04.21 NEWS ... President Kersti Kaljulaid says she hopes other European countries will follow the lead of Estonia in expelling Russian diplomats in solidarity with the Czech Republic. Estonia ejected one Russian diplomat last Friday, while the Czech Republic has expelled dozens from its soil, in relation to a 2014 explosion at an ammunition dump, thought to be the work of Russian agents.

Toomas Sildam: Jüri Ratas dictating pace on search for next president

26.04.21 OPINION ... Until Jüri Ratas (Center) declares his hand on this fall's presidential elections, predicting who out of any other potential candidates, including the current incumbent, Kersti Kaljulaid, makes little sense, senior ERR journalist Toomas Sildam writes.

Daily: Russia Finno-Ugric congress withdrawal statement likely posturing

26.04.21 NEWS ... Commentators in Estonia have downplayed a recent statement by Russia's Finno-Ugric umbrella organization which said that its participation in this summer's VIII world congress in Tartu was now off the table, due to the politicization of the event, daily Postimees reports.

Survey: People of Tallinn would like to see Kõlvart continue as mayor

26.04.21 POLITICS ... A survey conducted by Turu-uuringute on behalf of daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL – link in Estonian) shows that the residents of Tallinn would like to see Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) continues as Mayor of Tallinn.

Russia may pull out of summer's Finno-Ugric congress in Tartu

26.04.21 NEWS ... A Russian organization says it has withdrawn its participation from this summer's VIII World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples, to be hosted in Tartu, citing political reasons. The announcement came within twenty-four hours of Estonia's move to expel one Russian diplomat, in solidarity with the Czech Republic.

Riigikogu committee supports progress on EU digital COVID-19 certificate

23.04.21 CORONAVIRUS ... The Riigikogu's European Union Affairs Committee has formulated and approved a position on the adoption of a common EU digital certificate, which it supports.

Anti-corruption committee plan voted out of Tallinn city council by Center

23.04.21 NEWS ... The entire group of the Center Party at the Tallinn city council's sitting on Thursday voted against a proposal by the Isamaa party to form an anti-corruption committee - a plan that had been supported by the other four parties.

Perling considers Isamaa's good practice guide unnecessary

23.04.21 NEWS ... Lavly Perling, a member of the Isamaa Party's union Parempoolsed (right-wingers), does not think a guide for discussions created by the party is necessary.
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