Interview | Jaak Aaviksoo: Politics far more complicated than science

25.09.20 ... Estonia could do with a single vocational school. Let us only recruit the foreign students Estonia needs. The Reform Party fell victim to a coup. Segregation also down to a particular attitude among Estonians. The tallest minister of any Estonian government (198 centimeters), former education and defense minister, former University of Tartu and Tallinn University of Technology rector Jaak Aaviksoo (66) gives an interview.

Government not reached budget agreement, discussions continue next week

25.09.20 ... Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) said on Friday afternoon the government has not yet reached an agreement on the 2021 state budget and discussions will continue next week.

MEP: National defense loan not completely unrealistic

25.09.20 ... Former Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Commander and current MEP Riho Terras (Isamaa) said politicians should listen to the opinion of (EDF) leadership when making national defense plans, and that borrowing for national defense is not necessarily a bad idea. Terras made his remarks in the light of finance minister Martin Helme's plan to borrow to invest in air defense and coastal defense systems.

Price and quality of masks vary widely in Estonian pharmacies

25.09.20 ... The price and quality of masks sold in Estonia vary greatly, ERR has found, and it can be cheaper to stock up in Finland. The cheapest dust mask in Estonia costs 36 cents but a single respirator mask can be almost €4.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania extend sanctions on Belarusian officials

25.09.20 ... The Baltic countries have jointly extended sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for organizing the presidential election and the violent crackdown that followed.

In case you missed it: September 19-25

25.09.20 ... With readers often having hectic lifestyles, it can be easy to miss what's been going on in Estonia over the past week. Here's a snapshot of some of the highlights.

Latvian National Library opens exhibition for Jaan Kross centennial

25.09.20 ... On September 23, an exhibition entitled "Romaan ajalooga", honoring what would have been Estonian writer and poet Jaan Kross' (1920-2007) 100th birthday, opened at the Latvian National Library in Riga.

Police and Border Guard Board to unleash Terror on criminals

25.09.20 ... The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) have a new puppy - seven-week old Terror - who in the near future will help catch dangerous criminals in Estonia.

SDE youth wants to define marriage as gender-neutral union in Constitution

25.09.20 ... The Young Social Democrats, the youth caucus of the opposition Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE), has called to define marriage in the Constitution as a gender-neutral union of two persons.

Eesti Post supervisory board dismisses CEO Ansi Arumeel

25.09.20 ... The supervisory board of Estonia's state-owned postal company AS Eesti Post has decided to recall Ansi Arumeel from his role as CEO.

Football Association asks UEFA for extension on venue confirmation

25.09.20 ... The governing body of European football, UEFA, gave Estonia until September 24 to confirm the venue for home matches in the European Championships qualifying rounds. The government did not reach a decision on quarantine-free travel for athletes on Thursday however, leading the Estonian Football Association (EJL) to apply for an extension.

Lithuanian minister: Rail Baltic management model poses threat to continuity

25.09.20 ... The joint management model of the European standard-gauge railway project Rail Baltic is already posing threat to the project's continuity, Lithuania's Transport Minister Jaroslav Narkevic said on Thursday, after hinting about the possibility of building the railway independently without Estonia and Latvia.

Kontaveit and Kanepi could meet in third round of French Open

25.09.20 ... This year's French Open, set to begin on Monday, will see Estonian top tennis player Anett Kontaveit (WTA 21st) face off against French Caroline Garcia (WTA 45th), who she recently beat in the Italian Open, in the first round. Kaia Kanepi (WTA 106th) will play Marie Bouzkova (WTA 45th) in her first round match-up. Depending on how things shape up from then on, the two Estonians could face each other in the third round.

Justice minister: Government has power to make mask-wearing mandatory

25.09.20 ... While up to now, wearing a face mask has been recommended, but not mandatory, in Estonia, Minister of Justice, Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) has ordered judicial analysis as to whether the government has the right to oblige the public to wear face-masks, in the interests of public health in the face of growing COVID-19 rates. Aeg aid that the need may arise in the near future, if and when the virus continues to spread.

Estonia allocates €50,000 to alleviate humanitarian crisis in Yemen

25.09.20 ... Estonia has pledge to support the alleviation of the humanitarian situation in Yemen with €50,000 through the World Food Programme.

Health Board: 42 new cases of coronavirus recorded in last 24 hours

25.09.20 ... Forty-two new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in Estonia in the last 24 hours, the Health Board said on Friday. The 14-day average is 36.57 per 100,000 people.

Tourism sector hopes for rapid reopening of Finnish border

25.09.20 ... Tourism and catering companies hopes Finland will be able to reopen the border as soon as possible as many Estonian companies will not survive the new restrictions.

Minister of Social Affairs: We want to avoid closing the country

25.09.20 ... Minister of Social Affairs, Tanel Kiik (Center) reiterated on Thursday that the government's long-time strategy is to avoid entirely or partially closing the country to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Tourists from Estonia cannot visit Finland from Monday

24.09.20 ... The Finnish government decided on Thursday that travelers from Estonia can only enter Finland to return to the country, work, transit or for an unavoidable reason from September 28. While Estonia is on Finland's restricted list, tourists cannot travel to the country.

Riigikogu members sign international letter condemning Belarus violence

25.09.20 ... Leading members of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee have signed a joint open letter initiated by the House of Representatives in the United States, which condemns the ongoing political violence in Belarus and calls for the release of political prisoners. The open letter has been signed by representatives of many European countries' legislatures, as well as the European Parliament itself.

Video: Flora thorugh in Europa League qualifier on penalties

25.09.20 ... Reigning Estonian football champions Tallinn FC Flora advanced to the final qualifying play-off round of the UEFA Europa League, notching a 4:2 penalty shootout win over Maltese club Floriana after things were goal-less in regular time.

Ratings: Coronavirus handling may be behind Center losing ground to Reform

25.09.20 ... Recent ratings have put the opposition Reform Party ahead of the Center Party in Tallinn, traditionally a Center stronghold, whose city government is dominated by the party.

Ratings: Reform back on top as most popular party

25.09.20 ... The Reform Party has reclaimed its position as the most popular party in Estonia after Center was unexpectedly put at most popular for August, by pollsters Turu-uuringute AS.

Weather: Indian summer continues into weekend

25.09.20 ... The seemingly unseasonable warm weather in Estonia continues Friday and into the weekend, with temperatures exceeding 20C during the day, in the southeast of the country, and with sunshine to go with it.

President to UN: Pandemic brings global tech, governance opportunities

24.09.20 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid has called on nations to seize the opportunity and change the model of global governance to one that also takes into account cyber security. Addressing both a UN Security Council (UNSC) summit, and the 75th UN General Assembly – this year taking place remotely due to the pandemic – the president also took an optimistic stance on what could be learned from the pandemic, particularly in terms of technological leaps forward.

Estonia's future transport plan: People-centred, smarter, greener

24.09.20 ... Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) has signed the draft transport and mobility master plan for Estonia for the next 15 years, which plans to make the transport system more sustainable and safer and pay more attention to the strategic development of mobility.

Tallink starting negotiations to reduce port fees in Riga

24.09.20 ... From the beginning of October, listed Estonian shipping line Tallink will start negotiations with the representatives of the Port of Riga (Latvia) on reducing port dues, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported on Wednesday, September 23.

State assets rise by quarter of a billion in 2019

24.09.20 ... State budget expenditure and investment rose by €755 million in 2019, to €10.99 billion. Meanwhile state revenues rose by €727.8 million, to €10.86 billion. Over the same period, the Estonian state held total assets of €16.3 billion, €250 million up on year.

Riigikogu appoints Urmas Volens to Supreme Court bench

24.09.20 ... The Riigikogu nominated judge Urmas Volens to the Supreme Court bench Wednesday.

Food Bank: Most of the surplus food in Estonia goes to waste

24.09.20 ... September 29, the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, will be celebrated by a video conference where the Estonian Food Bank (Toidupank), the Ministry of Social Affairs and many international experts will address the issue of food waste and redistribution.

Kristjan Port: Are we interested in finding next doping cases?

24.09.20 ... Sports biologist and board member of the Estonian Anti-Doping Agency (EADA) Kristjan Port has said in light of Mati Alaver's doping case that while the past can not be changed, in future it must be possible for parents to have the courage to bring their children to play sports.

Urmas Reitelmann: Riigikogu sinks into mud league

24.09.20 ... The Riigikogu has sunk into the mud league as the austere hall is populated by people who were caught red-handed, Urmas Reitelmann writes.

Estonian embassy in Washington: Freeh reputation not impeccable

24.09.20 ... A memo sent from the Estonian Embassy in the United States cast doubts on the reputation of Louis Freeh, a lawyer hired by finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) to represent Estonia in interntational money laundering cases. Some of the embassy's sources had recommended avoiding close official contact with Freeh for that reason.

FC Flora to continue Europa League odyssey Thursday evening

24.09.20 ... Reigning Estonian football champions Tallinn FC Flora will continue their Europa League season on Thursday evening, traveling to Malta to face Floriana. The match will be broadcast live on ETV2.

Estonia to support Belarusian civil society with €100,000

24.09.20 ... The government on Thursday decided to allocate €100,000 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' reserve to support Belarusian civil society, media freedom and provision of psychological aid to victims of the governing regime's violence.

Health Board: 44 new cases of coronavirus diagnosed in last 24 hours

24.09.20 ... Forty-four new cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed in Estonia in the last 24 hours, the Health Board said on Thursday. The 14-day average is 35.82 per 100,000 people.

Printing press breakdown means Äripäev Thursday issue will appear Friday

24.09.20 ... Financial daily Äripäev will be published on Friday, September 25 this week, instead of its regular Thursday, as the result of a printing error, the newspaper announced.

Equality commissioner: Isolating somebody without real cause is not right

24.09.20 ... The office of the Commissioner for Equality has received three appeals over forced stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the commissioner, Liisa-Ly Pakosta, says.

Nationwide alcohol sales ban in force from midnight Thursday

24.09.20 ... From midnight Thursday, a ban on alcohol sales will apply across Estonia, meaning alcohol sales are off until 10 a.m. the next morning. The regulation, aimed at curbing rising COVID-19 rates, applies where alcohol is sold for consumption in situ, such as bars, nightclubs, restaurants, theater buffets and hotels.

Health Board to receive €15 million for coronavirus testing

24.09.20 ... The government has opted to allocate €15.3 million from state reserves to the Health Board (Terviseamet), to organize coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Sports journalists: Doping penalties in Estonia far too lenient

24.09.20 ... Punishments for sports doping activities in Estonia are ridiculously light, sports journalests Peep Pahv of news portal Delfi, and director of ERR's sports portal Maarja Värv, said Wednesday, following the fall from grace of former national ski coach Mati Alaver.

Penal Code amendment allows blood doping athletes to be tried for fraud

24.09.20 ... The ski doping scandal that enveloped Estonia's national ski team from last year also tested the Penal Code in seeing if sufficient investigation, and punishments for offenses connected to blood doping, would be carried out. A section of the Penal Code does specify doping cases, but can only be used to try distributors or producers. As a result, the code is to be amended.

President Kaljulaid meets with US Under Secretary of State Keith Krach

24.09.20 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid met with United States Under Secretary of State Keith Krach in Tallinn on Wednesday evening, to discuss digital technologies, e-state solutions and the virtual Three Seas Summit coming in October.

Government restricts number of people at indoor events to 750

24.09.20 ... Restrictions limiting audience capacity to 750 people at indoor events will be implemented from Tuesday, September 29 to try and limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mart Helme: All EU states should agree on migration and asylum pact

24.09.20 ... Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) says that European Union member states are only starting to form mutual opinions about the European Commission's proposal for a new pact on migration and asylum.

Popov: Masks will surely save lives

24.09.20 ... Masks save lives and reduce the risk of infection, head of the ambulance center of the North Estonia Medical Center Dr. Arkadi Popov has said.

Judge: Doping abuse a matter of strong public interest

24.09.20 ... Top athlete blood doping cases are a matter of great public interest, said Janek Laidvee, a judge from the third-tier Tallinn administrative court, whose decision led to the disclosure of disgraced ski coach Mati Alaver's criminal file to the public.

Central bank: Housing loan market slowly recovering

24.09.20 ... The home loan market is slowly recovering from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, whose peak was in spring, the Bank of Estonia says. However, companies are borrowing and investing less, due to reduced confidence in the wake of the viral spread.

Fuel prices at pump rose in Tallinn Wednesday, both for gasoline and diesel

24.09.20 ... Circle K and Olerex filling stations were both charging €1.229 per liter for petrol 95, up from €1.189 the day before.

Bocuse d'Or culinary competition organizers request travel entry exemptions

24.09.20 ... The organizers of international world cuisine championship Bocuse d'Or, set to take place on October 15-16, have approached the government with a proposal to make an exemption for competitors entering Estonia from coronavirus high-risk countries.

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