Minister expects ERR to submit plan to strengthen Russian-language channel

17.01.18 ... Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski (SDE) said that the management of public broadcaster ERR should submit proposals how to strengthen Russian-language television channel ETV+. If needed, the topic should also be discussed by the government or in parliament.

President faces criticism after awarding centennial program to NO99 theatre

17.01.18 ... Tallinn's NO99 theatre will contribute the artistic part of this year's Independence Day reception at the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. 104 signatories have sent a public letter to President Kersti Kaljulaid objecting to the choice, as this means director Tiit Ojasoo, who in 2016 shoved and kicked a woman he worked with at the theatre, will be involved in Estonia's centennial Independence Day celebrations. The letter has triggered a fierce debate.

Bank of Estonia wants to take 1 and 2-cent coins out of circulation

17.01.18 ... The Bank of Estonia has come up with a plan to reduce the use of 1-cent and 2-cent coins before eventually removing them from circulation.

Reserve officer: Estonia's defense development plan needs to be changed

17.01.18 ... The state's defense resources development plan needs to be reconsidered, finds Lt. Col. of the reserve, Leo Kunnas. The changes to be made would need to focus on Russia's changing military power.

Tests of electronic traffic signs with changing information successful

17.01.18 ... The Road Administration will install electronic traffic signs with changing information permanently in the second half of this year, as the one-month testing period of the signs has been successful.

Doctor submits thousands of work ability assessments within just 10 months

17.01.18 ... Looking at the statistic of the Unemployment Fund (Töötukassa) concerning work ability assessments, a case stands out where a single doctor submitted more than 3,500 assessments over a period of just ten months. The fund's director, Meelis Paavel, commented the case.

Riigikogu committee endorses Herem as next Estonian Defence Forces chief

16.01.18 ... The Riigikogu's National Defence Committee approved Defence Minister Jüri Luik's choice of Brig. Gen. Martin Herem as the next commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).

Juncker praises Estonian EU council presidency

16.01.18 ... Jean-Claude Juncker praised Estonia for its work during its EU council presidency on Tuesday. In a plenary session of the European Parliament discussing its outcome, Juncker was almost gushing in his praise.

Siim Kallas: Instead of progressive income tax, start taxing assets

16.01.18 ... On Monday Kallas said Estonia needs a real estate tax debate, a statement for which he was immediately criticized by members of his own party. Still, Kallas thinks such a tax could be an essential contributor to the income base of Estonia's local governments.

Riigikogu passes amendment reducing excise duty hike

16.01.18 ... The Riigikogu on Tuesday passed a bill to amend the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act according to which the excise hike to enter into force in February will be reduced by half.

Estonia's population increases for third year

16.01.18 ... According to preliminary data, the number of Estonian residents was 1,318,700 on Jan. 1, which is an increase by 3,070 people compared to a year ago. This is the third year in a row that Estonia's population sees a net increase, if only by 0.2 percent.

K9 Thunder howitzers: South Korea submits offer to Estonia

15.01.18 ... The Estonian government has received an offer over 12 K9 Thunder-type howitzers from the government of South Korea. The price is confidential and will only be published once an agreement is signed.

Siim Kallas: Estonia needs real estate tax debate

15.01.18 ... Former EU commissioner and mayor of the municipality of Viimsi, Siim Kallas, said that the funding policy of local governments should be reviewed, and the taxation of real estate also be considered.

Low water level may force Hiiumaa ferries to remain in port

15.01.18 ... According to a prognosis by the Department of Maritime Systems of the Tallinn University of Technology, the water level between the mainland and the island of Hiiumaa could be low enough a few days from now to force ferries to remain in port.

Swedish minister: Crisis in Baltic sea region would require joint response

15.01.18 ... All of the countries of the Baltic Sea region would have to respond to possible unrest in the region, although some of them are not members of NATO, Sweden's defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, said in Lithuania.

Rasmussen and Ratas meet, discuss security, cyberdefense, cooperation

15.01.18 ... Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) met in Tallinn on Monday to discuss defense cooperation, security in the area, and digital development. Following the meeting, Rasmussen said Denmark is considering joining NATO's cyberdefense center in Tallinn. Ratas called for an expansion of the joint data platform of Estonia and Finland to all Baltic and Nordic countries.

Number of Russians considering Baltic states Russia's enemies decreases

15.01.18 ... According to a recent survey by independent Russian pollster Levada, the number of Russians who consider the Baltic states enemies of their country has decreased substantially.

Catholic Church asks for support fixing up cathedral for papal visit

15.01.18 ... The Catholic Church has asked for funding out of the state's churches and temples renovation program. With it, the church is planning to complete different restoration works on the outside and inside of Tallinn's St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral to get things in order leading up to the planned visit of Pope Francis.

Exhumation of German soldiers' remains to start Monday

15.01.18 ... Work to exhume and rebury the remains of German soldiers found last week at a construction site in Maarjamäe is expected to begin today Monday. According to state real estate administrator RKAS, the task will take some three weeks to complete.

Danish prime minister, defense minister visit Tapa army base

15.01.18 ... The Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the country's defense minister, Claus Hjort Frederiksen visited the Estonian Defence Forces' Tapa base on Sunday. They were introduced to the activities of the NATO battle group stationed there. A Danish contingent arrived last week.

Rigikogu preparing for major renovation of Toompea Castle

14.01.18 ... In an estimated four years the seat of the Estonian parliament will have to undergo reservation. Toompea Castle is a complex of several different buildings, some of which haven't been brought up to current standards, an issue that now needs to be addressed, ERR's Estonian news reported.

Former president Ilves calls for global cyber-alliance of democracies

14.01.18 ... Democratic nations around the world, including and building on NATO members, should start a global partnership on cybersecurity, starting with an informal forum for collaboration, to grow into an alliance with legal structures and responsibilities, former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in an interview.

Police no longer allowing people on frozen border lakes

14.01.18 ... The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) issued a ban starting Saturday to keep people from venturing onto the ice of Lake Peipus as well as adjacent lakes on the Estonian-Russian border, including the Narva Reservoir.

IT interest groups fail to agree on next steps for base network

13.01.18 ... The Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL), municipalities, communications companies, and representatives of regional broadband projects have been unable to reach agreement how to use the €4.6 million still to be disbursed for the construction of a broadband base network.

Japan to join NATO cyber defense center in Tallinn

13.01.18 ... Japan will soon join the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence (CCD COE), the Baltic News Service reported on Friday evening.

Abe, Ratas meet to talk about economic relations, treaties, North Korea

13.01.18 ... Prime Minister Shinzō Abe met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) on Friday evening. Their meeting focused on bilateral economic relations, the double taxation treaty between the two countries, and the global security situation.

President: Estonia, Japan share passion for digital world

12.01.18 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid said at her meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on Friday afternoon that the two countries share the same passion for digital development.

EU to support traineeships abroad of Russian-language journalists

12.01.18 ... At the initiative of Estonian MEP Yana Toom (Center/ALDE), the EU will pay for the foreign traineeships of journalists who work in media reporting in the languages of national minorities, including Russian.

Committee postpones decision on EU migration plan, questions quota

12.01.18 ... The Riigikogu's EU Affairs Committee postponed its decision on Friday on Estonia's position regarding the European Commission's migration plan. The government's explanation why Estonia should take in 80 quota refugees in 2018 and 2019 was insufficient, the committee's chairman said.

13,520 births registered in 2017

12.01.18 ... According to data of the Ministry of the Interior, 13,520 births were registered in Estonia last year. With registered deaths at 15,487, this means that 1,958 more people died than were born in 2017.

Border Guard gets surveillance drones

12.01.18 ... The Police and Border Guard (PPA) have ordered nine ELIX-XL-type drones that they will use in their work checking the border. They are buying the drones from Estonian company ELI Military Simulations, the purchase is financed mainly out of the EU's security fund.

Position voted down that Registered Partnership Act never came into force

12.01.18 ... The Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee voted down the point of view of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) that the Registered Partnership Act never entered into force. The committee took up the matter after the Supreme Court requested it review the act for its constitutionality.

Abe wants working holiday program with Estonia 'as soon as possible'

12.01.18 ... Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe, to arrive in Estonia for his upcoming visit of the Baltic states today Friday, told daily Eesti Päevaleht in an interview that he is hoping the two countries will get to an agreement on a working holiday program as soon as possible.

Russian customs prevents 1.5 tons of coins from entering Estonia

11.01.18 ... A foreigner of unspecified citizenship tried to take 25-ruble and 10-kopek coins with a total worth of 4.19 million rubles or approximately 61,200 euros out of Russia, Interfax reported, referring to the Kingissepp customs office.

Search continues for Finnish citizen reported missing in November

11.01.18 ... After Finnish volunteers have spent weeks looking for him already, a joint team of Estonian, Latvian, and Finnish volunteers will now go on looking for a Finn who disappeared in Tallinn at the end of November last year.

Estonia to arrange reburial of German soldiers' remains found in Maarjamäe

11.01.18 ... The Heritage Protection Board confirmed in a letter to state real estate administrator RKAS that according to an existing agreement between Germany and Estonia concerning war graves, the state will take on the cost of exhuming and reburying the remains of the German soldiers found in Maarjamäe earlier this week.

Maarjamäe memorial not to be torn down, says prime minister

11.01.18 ... The Soviet war memorial in Tallinn's Maarjamäe is crumbling and needs attention. As Russian media are gearing up to turn the matter into their next Estonian scandal, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas stressed on Thursday that the memorial won't be torn down.

Ivanova abstains, doesn't back Simson in no-confidence vote

11.01.18 ... Former Center Party member and MP Olga Ivanova (independent) abstained in Wednesday's failed no-confidence vote against Minister of Economic Affairs Kadri Simson. Ivanova is still a member of Center's parliamentary group, which has now announced that they will have to discuss the matter.

58 percent of pensioners gain income due to tax reform, says prime minister

11.01.18 ... Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Thursday that as of Jan. 5, 58 percent of all of Estonia's pensioners had gained income due to the recent income tax reform.

Number of Estonia's transboundary waterbodies increases

11.01.18 ... The currently ongoing modernization and overhaul along Estonia's border with Russia doesn't just mean installing equipment and clearing the border line, but also brings along changes to the State Borders Act. One of them includes declaring four small lakes in the southeast transboundary waterbodies.

Riigikogu president meets Chinese president Xi Jinping

11.01.18 ... President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE), who will return from a visit to China together with his colleagues from the Nordic countries and the Baltic states, met with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping on Wednesday.

Danish NATO battlegroup contingent lands at Ämari air base

11.01.18 ... Most of the Danish unit to serve alongside British personnel in the NATO battle group in Estonia landed at the Ämari air base on Wednesday to join the Danish staff officers that have already been there since spring last year.

Opposition's motion of no confidence against Kadri Simson fails

10.01.18 ... A motion of no confidence against Minister of Economic Affairs Kadri Simson (Center) handed in by the Reform Party, the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), and the Free Party on Wednesday failed.

Luik proposes Brig. Gen. Martin Herem as next defense forces chief

10.01.18 ... According to the Ministry of Defence, Herem has accepted. Defence Minister Jüri Luik (IRL) will submit his choice to the government. Herem would take over as commander of the Estonian Defence Forces on Dec. 5 this year.

Ratas: Reform Party trying to cover up internal tensions

10.01.18 ... With the 2019 elections approaching, the Reform Party is obviously getting nervous, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Wednesday. He added that Reform is trying to hide its own internal tensions in the party with the opposition's motions of no confidence.

No-confidence motion against minister to be discussed already Wednesday

10.01.18 ... The opposition parties handed in their motion of no confidence against Minister of Economic Affairs Kadri Simson (Center) on Wednesday. The government asked to have the according debate added to Wednesday's agenda of the Riigikogu.

Marina Kaljurand considering going into politics, to decide later this year

10.01.18 ... Former minister of foreign affairs and 2016 presidential candidate Marina Kaljurand is considering going into politics. Kaljurand told ERR on Tuesday that she'll decide towards the end of summer or early in the fall this year whether or not to join a party.

Kallas accuses Pevkur of trying to thwart her candidacy in 2019 elections

10.01.18 ... Kaja Kallas (Reform/ALDE) told weekly Eesti Ekspress that Reform Party chairman Hanno Pevkur had tried to worsen her chances in the 2019 Riigikogu elections by moving her to the party list of another electoral district.

Government moving jobs away from capital mostly on paper, daily writes

10.01.18 ... In February 2017 the government announced it would move more than a thousand jobs away from the capital, and that almost all of the ministries would be affected by the step. Most of this change is currently taking place on paper only.

Government's strategic communication budget jumps from €60,000 to €800,000

10.01.18 ... Currently the Government Office employs two specialists tasked with its strategic communication. The team is now going to be increased to eight, and will focus on monitoring and prevention as much as doing damage control.

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