Interview: Estonia has overlooked a generation of young Russians

25.09.23 NEWS ... Erik Kalda, executive editor of Ida-Viru County newspaper Põhjarannik, tells Vikerraadio in a recent interview that Estonia let slip a generation of young Russians, who studied in Russian schools in the 1990s and early 2000s and later turned out to chant "Rossiya" and run riot during the Bronze Night, slip through the cracks.

Electoral committee chair: Worth keeping with times, but m-voting risky

22.09.23 NEWS ... A bundle of proposed amendments to Estonia's election laws drawn up by the government doesn't provide clarity regarding how to ensure that all necessary requirements are met in mobile voting (m-voting), and leaves open the possibility of the government being given powers in organizing electronic elections (e-elections) that could impact their credibility, National Electoral Committee chair Oliver Kask said Thursday.

SDE chair: There's quite a lot in this budget we're not happy about

21.09.23 NEWS ... In an appearance on Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" on Wednesday, Minister of the Interior and Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Lauri Läänemets said that there are several aspects of the 2024 state budget agreed upon by Estonia's ruling Reform-Eesti 200-SDE government coalition this week that the Social Democrats are unhappy about, but acknowledged that at the end of the day, compromises had to be made.

Samost and Hennoste on 'backbone' of Estonian journalism

17.09.23 NEWS ... Journalism lecturer and literary scholar Tiit Hennoste and ERR's head of news Anvar Samost discuss Estonian media organizations' values, ideals and agenda, power dynamics between the press and politicians, literature's declining role in society, and the impact of US political polarization on freedom in Estonia.

Mayor Katri Raik: I'm not leaving politics or Narva

15.09.23 NEWS ... Saturday is likely to see the vote of no confidence against Narva mayor Katri Raik (SDE) succeed. Raik already has a new job in Narva, but she intends to return to city administration as soon as possible.

Läänemets: This state budget's problem isn't cuts, it's structural

13.09.23 NEWS ... According to Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Lauri Läänemets, Estonia's state budget is short more than €200 million, which cannot be offset with cuts. Läänemets recalled saying before this spring's elections already that tax changes lay ahead regardless of who would end up in power, because the state budget is just so short on money.

ISS deputy chief: Info on PM and husband protected by state secrets

11.09.23 NEWS ... Martin Arpo, deputy director of the Estonian Internal Security Service (ISS or KAPO), tells ERR in an interview that information the ISS has on the prime minister and her spouse is classified, which is why he cannot reveal whether the service has previously asked Kallas about her husband's Russia business. Arpo appeared in front of the Riigikogu Anti-Corruption Select Committee Monday.

President: The prime minister has provided explanation but not answers

07.09.23 NEWS ... President Alar Karis told ETV's "Pealtnägija" in an interview that while Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has provided the public with explanations regarding the scandal that involves her husband, the most important questions have not been answered. Karis, who will soon reach the equator of his first term in office, finds that presidents could get a single seven-year term in Estonia.

Jürgen Ligi: Replacing PM to satisfy someone's bloodthirst isn't reasonable

02.09.23 NEWS ... In an interview with ERR following the Reform Party board's meeting with Prime Minister and party chair Kaja Kallas on Friday, MP and party deputy chair Jürgen Ligi said that replacing the prime minister just to satisfy the press and opposition's bloodthirst isn't reasonable, adding that the role of bloodhound doesn't suit the press anyway.

EKRE leader: If Kallas stays, she will transmute into political 'zombie'

31.08.23 INTERVIEWS ... Estonia requires extraordinary Riigikogu elections on the grounds that the Reform Party achieved its electoral success on the basis of falsehoods, opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) leader Martin Helme said in an interview given to Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" show on Wednesday, which follows in its entirety.

Kaja Kallas: Estonia's moral standards are so much higher

30.08.23 INTERVIEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has restated that her husband's business interests relating to Russia involved supporting another Estonian business in winding up its activities in that country.

Deputy mayor promises no roadworks chaos in Tallinn city center next year

30.08.23 NEWS ... Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vladimir Svet (Center) says, that next year will not see a repeat of the chaos caused by the kind of large-scale roadworks, which have been underway in the center of the Estonian capital throughout this summer. Svet added however, that as the government wants to continue upgrading Tallinn's streets, there will be a need for further work to be done in the future.

Tiit Riisalo: Public life should work without orders and bans

14.08.23 NEWS ... Tiit Riisalo (Eesti 200), Estonia's minister of economic affairs and IT, tells Vikerraadio in an interview that companies should be allowed to operate with as little intervention as possible and that ambitious, motivated and passionate entrepreneurs are a resource in themselves.

Swedbank CEO: We should emulate Scandinavia in organizing society

02.08.23 NEWS ... If there is anyone we wish to emulate in terms of social organization, we should look to Scandinavia, Swedbank Estonia's CEO Olavi Lepp tells ERR in an interview, adding that the Nordics have been very successful in setting up their education and pension systems.

PTA official: Wild boar hunt should increase to combat African swine fever

27.07.23 NEWS ... Recent outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in Southern Estonia confirm that background levels of the disease in the wild have once again gone up. In an interview for Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" on Thursday, Inge Saavo, director of the Southern Region of Estonia's Agriculture and Food Board (PTA), said that the solution lies in reducing wild boar numbers.

Finance minister: Car tax aimed at cutting down use, especially in cities

20.07.23 NEWS ... With its under-development car tax, the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE government wants to reduce the number of cars on the roads, in urban areas, Finance Minister Mart Võrklaev (Reform) says.

Martin Helme: EKRE will not back down, extraordinary elections possible

14.07.23 NEWS ... Martin Helme, the leader of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), said that the party will continue to obstruct in the fall and will make no concessions. In an interview with ERR, he also harshly criticized the government's proposals, which he believes will ultimately lead Estonia to a surveillance society.

Kristi Raik on Vilnius: Messages to Ukraine must avoid previous vagueness

11.07.23 NEWS ... Much debate about what message to give to Ukraine at this week's Vilnius Summit went went on, foreign policy analyst Kristi Raik says.

Yana Toom: After the council meeting, I felt as if I no longer existed

07.07.23 NEWS ... Yana Toom, a member of the Center Party's leadership and a sitting MEP, said that the party's current leader, Jüri Ratas, would have been probably reelected if the party had held a congress today.

Kõlvart perplexed by donation vote 'hysteria'

06.07.23 NEWS ... Vice-chair of the Center Party and mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, told ERR that accepting the €300,000 donation from Parvel Pruunsild could have provoked an existential crisis for the party in the future. According to him, Jüri Ratas and his supporters' assertion that there is a significant split within the Center Party, which impedes democratic procedures, is incomprehensible.

TTJA looking to regulate impartiality and validity of news programs

04.07.23 NEWS ... Estonia's Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) wants to include in legislation an obligation for media service providers to express valid and impartial positions in news programs, Helen Rohtla, the watchdog's information society service, told ERR.

Eesti Kontsert mulling wrapping up Hortus Musicus activities

03.07.23 NEWS ... The five-year financial plan of the Eesti Kontsert Foundation includes wrapping up the activities of legendary early music ensemble Hortus Musicus as well as dialing back regional concert activities and concentrating them in the capital Tallinn. Kertu Orro, head of Eesti Kontsert, tells ERR in an interview.

Head of new association: Car owners have been squeezed for long enough

02.07.23 NEWS ... Simmo Saar, member of the board of the Estonian Car Owners Association, an organization created in May, says in an interview that there are plenty of topics where vehicle owners can have a say. Saar suggests that owners of vehicles have been under pressure for a while and someone needs to represent their rights.

Youth Song and Dance Celebration ceremonial flame lit in Võru County

21.06.23 INTERVIEWS ... At sunrise on Tuesday, the ceremonial flame of the XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival "Holy is the Land" (Püha on maa), was lit on the lake island of Viitina in Võru County. The flame will now be brought to Tallinn and kept by the Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) until the festival begins.

Kallas: Marriage equality decision will end years of injustice

21.06.23 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said in an interview with "AK" that the amendment to the Family Law Act will finally resolve the injustice that has persisted since the failure to adopt the cohabitation act's implementing legislation.

Tõnis Saarts on SALK activities: That is how it works in the 21st century

14.06.23 NEWS ... Political scientist Tõnis Saarts said, when commenting on the activities of the Liberal Citizen Foundation (SALK) before the March 2023 parliamentary elections, that preparing for elections in this manner is self-explanatory in the 21st century and something professional parties know to value and take advantage of.

Conductor Aarne Saluveer: A very talented and wise generation is growing up

12.06.23 NEWS ... In an interview with ERR, Aarne Saluveer, chief conductor of the Estonian TV Girls' Choir, said that a very talented and wise generation is growing up, which is bound to write new chapters in Estonia's cultural history.

Izmailova: State should use taxes to motivate reduction in meat consumption

07.06.23 NEWS ... Riigikogu candidate for chair of the environment committee Züleyxa Izmailova (Eesti 200) told ERR that the state could use tax policy to encourage a reduction in meat consumption, RMK should invest more in permanent forestry as an alternative to logging and Eesti Energia should stop burning wood in Auvere.

Cambridge scientist: Intelligence robots need to be taught like teenagers

05.06.23 NEWS ... Ross J. Anderson, computer scientist and professor at Cambridge University, tells ERR in an interview that if we do not teach AI Western values, intelligence robots could one day defect to the Chinese side. This means that in the future, we'll need to teach computers like we teach our children.

Swedbank exec explains difference in interest rates in Estonia and Sweden

26.05.23 NEWS ... Jon Lidefelt, Swedbank's head of banking for the Baltic region, tells ERR in an interview why home loan interest rates are different in Estonia and Sweden and why he is against taxation of banks' record profits in the Baltics.

Justice minister: Hate speech bill forward-looking piece of legislation

26.05.23 NEWS ... Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet tells ERR in an interview that he cannot think of a single time from the last ten years when someone could have been punished based on the provisions of the government's incoming hate speech law. But the minister finds such a law might prove necessary in the future.

Danilson-Järg: Isamaa has become a party of old men

25.05.23 NEWS ... Isamaa's problem is modest credibility among young people and women, Lea Danilson-Järg tells ERR in an interview after announcing her last-minute bid for Isamaa leader. While she does not see the party merging again with offshoot Parempoolsed, Danilson-Järg believes Isamaa needs to have room for diverse opinion and shouldn't push away those who feel differently.

Heritage Foundation vice president: Ukraine support bipartisan in the US

25.05.23 NEWS ... Support for Ukraine in its war with Russia is bipartisan in the U.S. and there is nothing to suggest this would change after the U.S. presidential election, James Jay Carafano, vice president of Washington think tank The Heritage Foundation, tells ERR in an interview.

Undersecretary: What can and cannot be said not an exact science

24.05.23 NEWS ... Markus Kärner, deputy secretary general in charge of criminal policy of the Ministry of Justice, tells ERR in an interview that it is impossible to absolutely define in hate speech legislation what can and cannot be done. He says he cannot think of anyone from the last decade that could have been punished based on Estonia's incoming hate speech bill.

Prosecutor general: Hate speech bill would create more legal chaos

23.05.23 NEWS ... Prosecutor General Andres Parmas has proposed an alternative phrasing for hate speech legislation in Estonia. He also finds that penal law is not an appropriate tool for preventing social aggression.

Timothy Garton Ash: Germany has attraction mixed with fear for Russia

22.05.23 NEWS ... There is truth to what the Ukrainians say about the struggle being between freedom and fear. We need more courage and willingness to take risks as there are no risk-free paths to a good solution in Ukraine, historian and Professor of European Studies at Oxford University Timothy Garton Ask finds in an interview to ERR.

Teacher who wore a provocative shirt in Narva on May 9: I would do it again

21.05.23 NEWS ... Narva Old Town State School music teacher Alina Vorontšihhina, who on May 9 wore a t-shirt with an offensive message aimed at Vladimir Putin and came under fire at her workplace, tells ERR in an interview that she would do it again.

PESA founder: Conservative people cannot be united through rigid messages

20.05.23 NEWS ... Founder of the PESA conservative think tank, head of Postimees' opinion desk Martin Ehala tells ERR in an interview that the think tank does not have a legal body yet and that members aim to create a softer conservative thought platform.

Former US ambassador to Russia: Putin will pick his successor

16.05.23 NEWS ... Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Moscow, professor at Stanford University, told "Välisilm" in an interview that he holds a coup against Putin to be unlikely and that the Russian president will choose his own successor. He also suggested that Russia is entering a volatile period.

Commissioner Vestager: Global digital tax agreement still possible

15.05.23 NEWS ... European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager, who participated in the Lennart Meri Conference on Friday told ERR radio news that she still has faith that an international agreement on digital tax could be reached.

Interview with an ambassador: Why Germany is exiting from nuclear energy

14.05.23 NEWS ... Germany hast switched off the last three of its nuclear power plants at just the time when some of its neighbors would rather put their trust in nuclear power as an important foundation for a better CO2 footprint, and a more sustainable energy supply.

Swedish defense minister: Sweden should have joined NATO decades ago

08.05.23 NEWS ... Sweden hopes to join NATO by the time of the alliance's upcoming summit in mid-July, while had it been up to him, Sweden would have joined decades ago, the country's Minister of Defense Pål Jonson told ERR in an interview.

Helme on alleged in-house row: Politics a magnet for sociopaths

04.05.23 NEWS ... Martin Helme, leader of the opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE), is convinced that the party's subpar election result was the fault of e-voting rather than unfortunate campaign messages or organizational shortcomings. Helme suggests that in-house critics are disappointed with their personal election results and sees no place for them in EKRE.

Kyiv art chief: Russianization of Malevich example of imperialist ideology

02.05.23 NEWS ... The exhibition "Futuromarennia: Ukraine and the Avant-Garde," which was on display in Kyiv's Mystetskyi Arsenal until the outbreak of the war, is currently on display at the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn. The exhibition showcases works from four Ukrainian museums that exemplify the Ukrainian avant-garde of the early 20th century.

CEO: Bolt very much in favor of car tax

01.05.23 NEWS ... Markus Villig, founder and CEO of Estonian technology and mobility unicorn Bolt, says in an interview that everyone, including drivers, would gain from Estonia having fewer cars on the roads.

EDF head: Russia should dissolve into many small countries with less power

27.04.23 NEWS ... Estonian Defense Forces commander Gen. Martin Herem sees no way the Ukraine war could have a happy ending and that Estonia needs to be constantly prepared in the coming years. The way the Nursipalu Training Area expansion was communicated fell flat because politicians were gearing up for elections and gave people false hope, he said in a recent interview.

Tänak dedicates race to Craig Breen after finishing second in Rally Croatia

26.04.23 INTERVIEWS ... Estonia's Ott Tänak finished second in this weekend's Rally Croatia. Wales' Elfyn Evans (Toyota) took first place, exactly 27 seconds ahead of the Estonian, with Esapekka Lappi of Finland (Hyundai) in third. Throughout the weekend, participants paid tribute to Irish WRC driver Craig Breen, who tragically lost his life following a crash in pre-testing.

Director Sasha Pepelyaev: Russian culture cancels itself

21.04.23 NEWS ... Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, discussions have swirled about the cancellation of Russian culture. But theater director Sasha Pepelyaev believes Russian culture cancels itself.

John Malkovich in Estonia: I was raised to be curious about the world

20.04.23 NEWS ... This week, legendary actor John Malkovich is in Tallinn, where he will be performing in the play "In the Solitude of Cotton Fields" alongside Lithuanian actor Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė. In an interview with ETV's "Ringvaate," Malkovich said, that though he has traveled all over the world, this is his first time in Estonia and he hopes to get chance to look around Tallinn's Old Town.

Head of party funding watchdog: NGOs need same level of scrutiny as parties

14.04.23 NEWS ... Liisa Oviir, head of the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee (ERJK), tells ERR in an interview that amendments to the Political Parties Act need to be finally passed. Organizations active in politics but not currently governed by the act constitute a problem as their funding is not transparent.

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