Opinion

Kertu Moppel: On assholes

29.10.20 ... An asshole is someone who cuts in line, interrupts others, points out people's imperfections and is extremely sensible toward perceived insults while being oblivious to how rude they themselves are to others. The main reason why assholes are so powerful is that they disarm non-assholes, Kertu Moppel writes.

Züleyxa Izmailova and Kaspar Kurve: Marriage equality for everyone

29.10.20 ... The planned plebiscite has nothing to do with direct democracy. On the contrary, it is a populist move that suppresses democracy, Züleyxa Izmailova and Kaspar Kurve write.

Kai Rimmel: Estonia does not need Rail Baltic

29.10.20 ... Rail Baltic's cost-effectiveness analysis includes mistakes that are so serious that funding the project based on the data is not justified. This means that unrealistic qualities have been attributed to Rail Baltic that will not manifest, ERKE Riigikogu member Kai Rimmel writes.

Ministry: Myths about foreigners' stay, studies and employment in Estonia

28.10.20 ... Head of the Citizenship and Migration Policy Department at the Ministry of Interior Ruth Annus has written about 12 myths related to foreigners' stay, studies and employment in Estonia and why they are not true. ERR News has republished Annus' post from the Ministry of Interior's blog.

Head of Education and Youth Authority: Preparing to meet the unknown

28.10.20 ... One needs to keep learning in a constantly changing world. Every Estonian must have the opportunity to learn based on their interests and ability at any moment and in the format most suited to their needs, while marrying it with work, family and hobbies, Ulla Ilison writes.

Urmas Nõmmik: Marriage referendum a danger to churches

27.10.20 ... The marriage referendum has failed even before it is held as it will create a lot of conflict and confusion. Churches and their representatives should be especially mindful in this situation as the already politically loaded referendum will take on a religious-political hue, Urmas Nõmmik writes.

Toomas Sildam: Common ground hard to find regarding marriage referendum

26.10.20 ... Despite promises by chairmen of coalition parties, the campaign leading up to the marriage referendum will be anything but a search for common ground because there simply isn't any to be found in this matter, journalist Toomas Sildam writes.

Rait Maruste: EKRE's struggle for a communist-orthodox Eastern Europe

26.10.20 ... Referendums are not used to decide the rights and freedoms of minorities in modern European democracies where people are held to be equal and treated as such. It is fundamentally wrong and discriminatory in advance, Rait Maruste writes.

Indrek Kiisler: Politicians have no practical reason to dismantle coalition

22.10.20 ... Power is always sweeter, more useful and important than principles. Politicians lack any and all sober and practical reason to tear down the coalition today, Indrek Kiisler writes.

Kalle Muuli: The struggle for the Russian vote

22.10.20 ... The conflict between the Center Party and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) that has a little prematurely become known as a government crisis smells strongly of looming elections. The fight is over Russian votes, which might lead to a real crisis one day," former Isamaa Riigikogu member Kalle Muuli writes.

Opinion: Connecting outside of the frames of war

21.10.20 ... Armenian journalist Karine Ghazaryan, a master's student at the University of Tartu's Department of Semiotics since August 2018, writes about how the university has given her and other students from Armenia and Azerbaijan the space to get to know each other outside of the frames of war.

Tiit Terik: At least one reason for pensions hike

15.10.20 ... Old age does not necessarily have to come with poverty and it is high time to make a change and help the elderly live their twilight years to the fullest, Tiit Terik writes in a reply to Indrek Kiisler's comment "Extraordinary pensions hike not justified."

Urmas Viilma: An honest answer just a question away

14.10.20 ... I have been in the public eye quite a lot in the last few weeks. I have not initiated a single interview or news story of the past week. Cooperation with journalists could be interesting and instructional for a media observer, while I have also been treated to unpleasant experiences, Urmas Viilma writes.

Sven Sester: Final act of the pension reform

13.10.20 ... The pension reform that has been approved by the Riigikogu on two occasions is nearing its final act. Let us hope that we will have clarity in terms of whether the largest reform after the pension system was created can go ahead in 2021 before October ends, Sven Sester writes.

PM: The government will not leave the 'Estonia 2035' strategy shelved

13.10.20 ... The principles stipulated in this development strategy help us remain ourselves as people and as a nation even in the most difficult situations, PM Jüri Ratas said in a political statement made when handing over to the Riigikogu the "Estonia 2035" strategy.

Indrek Kiisler: Extraordinary pensions hike not justified

13.10.20 ... Unfortunately, Estonia lacks a political party with courage to say that pensioners are not the most vulnerable group today. There is no one to say to the elderly that their monthly income is safe and that state funds should be spent elsewhere, Indrek Kiisler says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Reemo Voltri: Freezing teachers' wages will result in a strike

11.10.20 ... If the government maintains its freeze on teachers' salaries for the next four years and throws out the previously agreed upon salary advance plan, Estonia's stellar education system must be protected, with a strike if that is what it takes," Reemo Voltri writes in a comment originally published in Õpetajate Leht.

Indrek Saar: Ministers scoring points instead of containing virus

11.10.20 ... The list of things undone on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus is regrettably long, Indrek Saar finds.

SDE deputy chair: Budget catering to the elite, overlooking families coping

08.10.20 ... Looking at the government's 2021 state budget bill, one cannot help but feel that ministers are the only people who believe that we are not experiencing the second wave of the coronavirus nor will it happen in the future. I feel obligated to counterbalance this elite budget with a social democratic alternative centered around the prosperity of families and laying a foundation for the economy of the future, Lauri Läänemets writes.

Marju Himma: R&D funding hike could end up benefiting politicians the most

06.10.20 ... If scientists fail to demonstrate where their work benefits society, knowledge-based decisions will not be made and increased research and development funding will end up benefiting politicians, Marju Himma finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Auditor general: Was the coronavirus crisis too mild to inspire lessons?

06.10.20 ... It is sometimes said that generals tend to prepare for the last war. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that while the "war" was of the future, preparations were few and far between. Knowing is not enough if one fails to act on that knowledge. The best early warning system is useless if it is not followed by action, Auditor General Janar Holm writes.

Tiina Ann Kirss: My parents were boat refugees

01.10.20 ... Literary scholar Tiina Ann Kirss' writes about her family, who were among the 75,000 Estonians who fled in 1944, to mark the unveiling of a new monument to those known as boat refugees on the Puise Peninsula, Lääne County.

Jaak Madison: Secret quotas of the new European migration pact

30.09.20 ... The European Commission's new migration pact prescribes that if expulsion does not succeed in eight months, the member state responsible for the expulsion of the migrant will have to receive them on its territory, effectively completing the process of accepting a quota migrant, MEP Jaak Madison writes.

Opinion: Why on earth are they coming to study here?

29.09.20 ... One hundred non-paying students are not a threat to our safety, public order or national security, writes Aune Valk, vice rector for Academic Affairs at the University of Tartu about EKRE's proposals to limit non-fee paying foreign students. Fighting against them might increase support from some voters, but is it really in the best interests of Estonia?

Maarja Vaino: Tolerance seems like serious business

27.09.20 ... The tone used by people who preach openness and tolerance is everything but understanding and friendly towards those whose opinion might differ in some matters, Maarja Vaino says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Lauri Läänemets: Let us trust small cities and rural areas with EU billions

27.09.20 ... The more peripheral the region, the more European Union funds should be directed there, Lauri Läänemets writes.

Tõnis Saarts: Two crises not that different

26.09.20 ... In a situation where the Reform Party accuses the government of lacking a longer perspective today, we should recall the squirrels' own actions and rhetoric from the previous crisis, Tõnis Saarts notes in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

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.

Harri Mikk: Schools and political epidemiology

20.09.20 ... Our problem is that politicians have placed schools and children in the epicenter of combating the virus, even though neither are critical in terms of how it spreads. The education of Estonian children is being managed by political epidemiology as opposed to the goal of giving them the best possible education, Harri Mikk writes.

MP: Time will tell whether von der Leyen's plan will lead to action

18.09.20 ... Consistent, future-oriented, past the shock of the pandemic and indicative of new momentum is how I would describe European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's annual speech this time. Her strong statement concerning Russia has already merited attention, while I would point out three other topics that are vital from Estonia's point of view, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus writes.

Raimond Kaljulaid: Opposition awake but there is room for improvement

17.09.20 ... I cannot agree to the claim that the opposition has wasted the entire spring and summer without offering any alternative to the government's policy, while politics today seems to be offering the voter the same goods in different packaging, Social Democratic Party MP Raimond Kaljulaid writes.

Indrek Kiisler: Time for the opposition to wake up

16.09.20 ... Estonia needs a strong opposition with weight to its words and the ability to prevent foolishness and major mistakes by the government. While the government has repeatedly engaged in the latter, it is mainly the press and not the opposition addressing it," Indrek Kiisler finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Opinion: Diverse companies earn higher profits

16.09.20 ... Diversity does not have to be an end goal, but rather a leadership tool, a constant process that helps to achieve and support a more efficient work culture. For the diversity tool to really work and bring useful results, the leaders of a company must actually believe in it, Riho Pihelpuu writes.

Olukorrast riigis: Government moving toward state bank by lending to firms

13.09.20 ... The government is going down the path of creating a state bank by lending to struggling companies and projects, while it would not be out of alignment with the ideologies of two government partners, hosts of the "Olukorrast riigis" talk show found.

Kaarel Tarand: The consumer letting the government down yet again

13.09.20 ... The economic forecast is an aching reminder that it's time to do something about the country's modest loan burden, Kaarel Tarand writes in a comment originally published by Sirp magazine.

Katri Raik: Schools and kindergartens need a master plan for fall

10.09.20 ... During the crisis, new forms of study became increasingly common with each passing day. Distance and hybrid learning are here to stay. These new approaches have as many proponents as they do skeptics. Their pros and cons need to be weighed and analyzed, SDE deputy chair Katri Raik writes.

Politicians wearing coronavirus blinders should learn to listen to experts

10.09.20 ... Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart does not listen to health experts as a politician's heart rate soars every time the opportunity to pick up emotional votes presents itself. At the same time, some members of the ruling coalition are visibly confused, Indrek Kiisler writes.

Huko Aaspõllu: Finmin forecast based on unprecedented growth of loan burden

08.09.20 ... The finance ministry's economic forecast includes several assumptions that might not manifest. At the same time, it clearly indicates that the government has plotted a course for rapidly increasing the country's loan burden, ERR's Huko Aaspõllu says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves: Drought of essayism

06.09.20 ... Things that just a few years ago were considered extreme or intolerably crude in politics or journalism have become commonplace. While we can call it freedom of speech and not be mistaken, we must also realize where it might lead to and to some extent already has, former president Toomas Hendrik Ilves said when unveiling a bench in honor of Enn Soosaar.

Kaja Kallas: Marriage referendum an EKRE provocation others should not join

01.09.20 ... The leaders of the Center Party and Isamaa should grow a backbone and not allow Estonia to be torn apart simply because it serves the interests of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE), chairman of the Reform Party Kaja Kallas writes.

Kaupo Meiel: Mission impossible – surviving the fall of our discontent

30.08.20 ... Let us stay positive waiting for the somber fall because the year 2020 can get several times worse still in its remaining months, Kaupo Meiel finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Külli Taro: Citizens owners, not customers of a state

28.08.20 ... A private company's customer cannot make executive decisions, demand to see the books or have a say in what type of services it offers. A citizen has all of these rights when it comes to their country, Külli Taro says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Urmas Paet: Russia very much present in Belarus

27.08.20 ... Russia is very much present in Belarus. Talking if only about law enforcement, army, police and security organs, most of their leaders have studied at Russian military or police schools. There is also the formal Union State of Russia and Belarus, MEP Urmas Paet writes.

Karmo Tüür: Direct presidential elections like a firearm without a safety

27.08.20 ... The proposal to elect the president directly sounds like a proposal to remove a firearm's safety, Karmo Tüür says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Indrek Kiisler: Overreaction by heads of schools needs to be opposed

27.08.20 ... With less than a week until school starts, students and their parents still do not know how things will work this fall. Some school operators have started to overreact and erect barricades against the virus.

Karin Paulus: Let the construction begin!

23.08.20 ... Our country's holy cow – economic growth – is ailing, which is why we need a clever plan for restoring prosperity, Karin Paulus writes in a comment originally published in Sirp magazine.

Tõnis Saarts: Why is the marriage referendum needed?

23.08.20 ... The coalition will have to decide this fall what to do with the referendum set to be held at the same time as local government council elections next year. The fact that a consultative referendum will not change anything right away does not mean the subject matter is unimportant, Tõnis Saarts says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves: Let's call August 20 'Continuation Day'

21.08.20 ... Estonia's Restoration of Independence Day (Taasiseseisvumispäev) might be appropriately renamed "Continuation Day" (Jätkupäev) finds former president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves. His rationale is that, in addition to the current, official term being rather wordy, it neither reflects nor honors those who struggled and suffered over half a century to make Estonian independence a fact once again.

Sveta Grigorjeva: I dream of a country where everyone can dream big

21.08.20 ... In some ways, Estonia has done well since regaining its independence, but we are still far from being a seamless society and a country where an Estonian-Russian cashier could become the prime minister, the poet and choreographer Sveta Grigorjeva said in her speech given at the president's Kadriorg reception marking the 29th anniversary of Estonia's independence restoration.

29th Restoration of Independence Day: President's speech in full

21.08.20 ... On Thursday, August 20, President Kersti Kaljulaid gave her traditional speech celebrating Restoration of Independence Day, the 29th since independence was regained in 1991. The text of the president's speech in English is reproduced in full as follows.

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