Eesti Energia pursues Elering wind farm dispute in court

19.01.21 NEWS ... State-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia is taking grid distributor Elering to court over a decision to discontinue a support scheme for a planned Pärnu County wind farm. At stake is whether a wind farm which is not yet completed and operating should receive the level of support Tootsi had been getting.

Estonia shipwreck investigator: Estonia should take lead role

19.01.21 NEWS ... Swedish journalist Lars Borgnäs, who has investigated the MS Estonia shipwreck, says that Estonia should take the lead role in investigating the disaster, adding that the investigation should be transparent, independent, international and comprehensive.

Circle K to begin selling ethanol-free gasoline

19.01.21 NEWS ... To meet the demand of Estonian consumers, fuel company Circle K will begin selling ethanol-free fuels in all of its gas stations by March.

Center withdraws party finances watchdog removal bill

19.01.21 NEWS ... The Center Party has ditched a controversial bill which would have placed the body responsible for party financing oversight under the National Audit Office's (Riigikontroll) remit, in another case of in-process legislation being ditched following the collapse of the coalition last week.

ERR News to live-stream TalTech conference on the future of education

19.01.21 NEWS ... On Thursday, January 21, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) is organizing a virtual development conference where the future of education, TalTech's role in Estonia and the world, the contribution of science and universities solving global challenges will be discussed in panels. The conference will be carried live by ERR News.

Party ratings: Center see rise in support after Ratas' resignation

19.01.21 NEWS ... Support for the Center Party rose more than that of any other political party in the aftermath of Jüri Ratas' resignation as prime minister last week, a recent survey found. Support for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), in office with Center but now excluded from the latter's coalition talks with Reform, fell the most over the same period.

Alcohol industry welcomes Reform-Center 'tax peace'

19.01.21 NEWS ... Estonian alcohol industry lobby groups have welcomed a proposed 'tax peace' put on the table in ongoing coalition discussions between the Reform and Center parties as a way to normalize a sector hit by the coronavirus crisis.

439 people have received second doses of COVID-19 vaccine

19.01.21 NEWS ... More than 400 people have received a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Estonia, the Health Board said on Tuesday. For the vaccine to offer immunity, two doses 21 days apart need to be administered.

Feature | Estonia's first year on the United Nations Security Council

19.01.21 NEWS ... On January 1, 2020 Estonia became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (ÜRO Julgeolekunõukogu) for the first time. ERR News looks back at Estonia's first year.

AK: Swedish law change to ease MS Estonia investigations

19.01.21 NEWS ... Sweden is planning to amend its grave peace law pertaining to the 1994 Estonia ferry disaster, to enable authorities to dive to the grave site for the purpose of re-examining the wreck, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday.

Most of Ruhnu's residents get coronavirus first vaccine in one fell swoop

19.01.21 NEWS ... Forty-two residents of the remote Estonian island of Ruhnu have received coronavirus vaccines, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday night.

Kaljulaid through to second round of OECD leadership election

19.01.21 NEWS ... Estonia's President Kersti Kaljulaid passed the first round of interviews as a candidate for the head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She is one of eight candidates running for the position of secretary-general.

Virologist: Even those immune to COVID-19 must wear masks

19.01.21 NEWS ... University of Tartu virologist Andres Merits said that the 19,000 people who are vaccinated and the nearly 38,000, who are known to have carried the coronavirus at some point, must still wear masks when moving around in public places.

Reform MP: Estonia crucial in brokering Russia-West relations

19.01.21 NEWS ... In addition to drawing attention to threats from the Russian Federation, Estonia must also advocate other international issues, including those which it, Russia, can take a more positive role in and would add value to the West's relations with Estonia's eastern neighbor, Deputy Chair of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson (Reform) told Vikerraadio show "Välistund" Monday.

Culture minister proposes athletes be vaccinated for Olympic qualifications

19.01.21 NEWS ... Outgoing Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) wrote in a proposal to the Ministry of Social Affairs that the ministry should also consider athletes when drawing up vaccination schedules. Lukas would see athletes vaccinated after health care and frontline workers.

Estonia planning to apply for UN Security Council membership 2050-2051

19.01.21 NEWS ... Estonia is planning to apply for United Nations Security Council membership again and wants to be a candidate for the 2050-2051 period.

Relaxed restrictions don't bring catering facilities much comfort

19.01.21 NEWS ... Since Monday, January 18, some restrictions for restaurants, hotels, education in Harju County and Ida-Viru County were relaxed. Representatives of the fields say that economic improvement can't be expected immediately, however.

Riigikogu switches to remote sittings due to coronavirus outbreak

19.01.21 NEWS ... The Riigikogu is switching to working remotely from Tuesday, after several MPs tested positive for the coronavirus.

Government green-lights Tartu Ski Marathon

19.01.21 NEWS ... On Tuesday, the government decided to allow the organization of the Estoloppet series ski marathons for 2021.

Foreign minister joins Baltic colleagues in Josep Borrell Navalny appeal

19.01.21 NEWS ... Outgoing foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has joined his Latvian and Lithuanian opposite numbers in a joint statement issued to Josep Borrell, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs and security, both thanking for his response to the arrest of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny Sunday evening, and calling for additional diplomatic measures.

Half of Isamaa's Riigikogu group diagnosed with COVID-19

19.01.21 NEWS ... Two more members of the Isamaa Party have tested positive for the coronavirus, in addition to the four diagnosed on Monday. Another three advisers have also fallen ill, according to party spokesperson Karl-Sander Kase.

International students, graduates paid over €13 million in tax in 2019/2020

19.01.21 NEWS ... Working international students and graduates paid more than €13 million in tax during the academic year 2019/2020, an analysis by Statistics Estonia shows.

Health Board: 600 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed, 11 deaths

19.01.21 NEWS ... 600 new coronavirus cases have been found in Estonia in the past 24 hours, the Health Board (Terviseamet) announced. 11 deaths were also recorded since Monday morning.

Coronavirus round-up: January 11-17

19.01.21 NEWS ... Last week 3,543 cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Estonia compared to 4,289 cases the week before - 746 fewer cases. There were 46 deaths which is a new record high.

Scientific council: Not much room to ease restrictions currently

19.01.21 NEWS ... In the current epidemiological situation, there is no room for any restrictions to be eased, said Irja Lutsar, head of the government's scientific council.

Kalev/Cramo handed eighth United League loss by Zenit

19.01.21 NEWS ... On Monday, Estonian basketball club BC Kalev/Cramo hosted VTB United League standings leader Zenit Saint Petersburg. Kalev, who played with a short bench, had to admit 51:87 defeat, their eighth loss of the season.

Rising COVID-19 rates force several Pärnu County schools to remote learning

19.01.21 NEWS ... Several schools in Pärnu County have made the switch to remote learning following coronavirus outbreaks among both pupils and staff. The region's Health Board (Terviseamet) director said that the return to school could, with hindsight, have been put back a week, amid rising COVID-19 rates in the county.

Coalition talks: Reform wants more funding for Estonian in kindergartens

19.01.21 NEWS ... More funding for the implementation of Estonian-language kindergarten education is needed, Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas said Monday evening, following that day's coalition talks with the Center Party, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported. This will require compromise with Center, whose policy is not to see an end to Russian-language education.

Delivery difficulties to delay vaccination of 10,000 health care workers

19.01.21 NEWS ... 6,825 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's vaccine arrived in Estonia on Monday, a third less than initially agreed to. The company's delivery difficulties have led to delays in the vaccination plan with Estonia set to be about 10,000 health care workers behind their plan.

Six new shipwrecks found on Estonian seabed in 2020

18.01.21 NEWS ... The Estonian Transport Administration found six new shipwrecks during hydrographic surveys of the seabed in 2020.

Court to decide on former opera chief sexual harassment case in February

18.01.21 NEWS ... The Tallinn-based Harju County Court on Monday concluded the deliberation of the harassment scandal of Aivar Mäe, former director of the Estonian National Opera, and will issue a decision on his complaint regarding a fine imposed by the police in February.

State to pay doctoral students average wage

18.01.21 NEWS ... In order to ensure students' enthusiasm and make doctoral studies more attractive, the state is planning to replace grants for doctoral students with a wage equal to the average wage in Estonia. For many scientists, this is a long-awaited step but critics worry it might bring forth a reduction in study freedom.

President to open Baltic Geopolitics programme at Cambridge University

18.01.21 NEWS ... The Center for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge will launch the Baltic Geopolitics programme with the aim of increasing understanding of the geopolitics of the Baltics and the role of the United Kingdom in it.

COVID-19 vaccine has not caused serious side effects in Estonia

18.01.21 NEWS ... No serious side effects were reported in relation to the Pfizer/BioNTech's Comirnaty coronavirus vaccine in Estonia last week, the State Agency of Medicines (Ravimiamet) has said. So far, 18,275 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Paper: Repeated delays reported on Saaremaa air service with new operator

18.01.21 NEWS ... While new operator NyxAir is yet to finish the first full month of operating the Kuressaare-Tallinn air service, delays and operating of the service with substitute aircraft have occurred on repeated occasions, regional newspaper Saarte Hääl reported over the weekend.

Ratas: Center did not initiate legalization of same-sex marriage

18.01.21 NEWS ... Outgoing prime minister and Center Party Chairman Jüri Ratas said the party did not start proceedings for the legalization of same-sex marriage after submitting a bill last week which equates a cohabitation agreement with marriage.

Toomas Sildam: When compelled cohabitation becomes a practical marriage

18.01.21 NEWS ... It has been pointed out that if the government of the Center Party, Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa constituted compelled cohabitation, the Reform-Center alliance will be a practical marriage. However, a similar understanding of values between partners still matters in a marriage.

PERH suspects its medical waste carrier handles waste incorrectly

18.01.21 NEWS ... The North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) suspects that their medical waste carrier Eesti Keskkonnateenused does not follow regulations when handling medical waste. The company confirmed it follows regulations but will initate an independent investigation.

Martin Helme: Political will needed for budgetary cuts

18.01.21 NEWS ... Outgoing Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said that a Ministry of Finance state budget revision found up to €140 million in potential cuts, but any cuts would need political will as it is difficult to find ministers who would approve any cuts.

Imre Sooäär: It is time for a social contract on partnership

18.01.21 NEWS ... The Riigikogu will have to ensure legal certainty and security for all families that can only be done by passing the implementing provisions of the Registered Partnership Act or through the compromise tabled by 19 MPs last week, Imre Sooäär writes.

Three state high schools to be built in Tallinn by fall of 2023

18.01.21 NEWS ... By 2023, there should be three more state high schools in Tallinn - one each in the Mustamäe, Pelgulinn and Tõnismäe districts. The first of these three to open is Mustamäe High School with development set to begin this summer.

Snowfall has opened ski trails around Estonia

18.01.21 NEWS ... Recent weather conditions have led to there being a solid enough winter for skiing in Estonia. As a result, many ski trails are now open and conditioned for people to go cross-country skiing but people should still follow rules - both for the coronavirus and for general politeness.

Tomingas comes in 23rd in first career mass start

18.01.21 NEWS ... Estonian biathlete Tuuli Tomingas participated in her first career mass start event in Oberhof, Germany, on Sunday, finishing 23rd in the 30-person race.

Gallery: Coalition negotiations continue on Monday

18.01.21 NEWS ... Coalition talks between Estonia's Reform Party and the Center Party continued in the Riigikogu at 11 a.m. on Monday. The parties will discuss digital affairs, education and culture today.

Four members of Isamaa test positive for coronavirus

18.01.21 NEWS ... Four members of the Isamaa Party's Riigikogu faction have tested positive for coronavirus and it is thought more members may be diagnosed in the coming days.

Experts: COVID-19 vaccine is safe for elderly

18.01.21 NEWS ... Estonian experts have said the COVID-19 vaccine is generally safe for elderly people and they should get vaccinated after the Norwegian Medicines Agency announced last week that 23 elderly people who received a dose had died.

Health Board: 265 new cases of coronavirus, eight deaths

18.01.21 NEWS ... 265 new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed during the last day and eight people infected with the disease died, the Health Board said on Monday.

Reform MP: Disputes expected over education during coalition negotiations

18.01.21 NEWS ... Reform MP Keit Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said "serious" disputes over education policy are expected during Monday's coalition negotiations.

Health Board: Hospitals prepared for unexpected increase in COVID patients

18.01.21 NEWS ... The number of patients being treated in hospitals across Estonia has stabilized at around 400 in recent weeks, but hospitals have also prepared in case there is an unexpected increase in the coming weeks, the Health Board has said.

Estonia's population increased in 2020 but births continued to fall

18.01.21 NEWS ... Estonia's population increased last year due to positive net migration but more people died than were born, preliminary data from Statistics Estonia shows. 2020 had the lowest number of births since 2003.

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