Topical satire: Explanatory memorandum of a responsible family budget

28.09.23 OPINION ... While the 2024 draft budget was being put together, thousands of households all over Estonia scrambled to lock down their own budgets, activity metrics and target levels by outcome domain. How Mom, Dad, Daughter, Dog, Cat and Mouse put together the family budget.

Raul Rebane: Is the east wind stronger than west wind in Estonia?

28.09.23 OPINION ... The biggest risk of the current political situation is that we will be left with two irreconcilable sides, similarly to the situation in USA, Raul Rebane finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Ilmar Raag: State budget as a compromise without initiative

27.09.23 OPINION ... The current budget project reflects the coalition's compromises made in the hope that time will solve all problems. It is a weak position, Ilmar Raag finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Mart Võrklaev: Economic recovery cannot be based on mere slogans

15.09.23 OPINION ... While diminishing banks' capital would lead to uncertainty for businesses we have to deal seriously with revitalizing the economy, and not weakening it, writes Finance Minister Mart Võrklaev (Reform).

Urmet Kook: No, Madam prime minister

13.09.23 OPINION ... Kaja Kallas and the Reform Party could be summed up in one simple sentence through the recent controversy, in Estonian referred to as "the eastern transport scandal," namely the sentence "too little, too late," ERR's head of portals Urmet Kook notes.

Alar Karis: Democracy does not end with parliamentary majority

11.09.23 OPINION ... President of the Republic at the opening sitting of the Riigikogu fall session on September 11, 2023.

Topical satire: The 2023 closed partnership conference

08.09.23 OPINION ... What might the agenda look like for a closed partnership conference? What follows is the fruit of a journalist's sick fantasy, which while not laying claim to the truth is nevertheless inspired from the cult BBC series "Yes (Prime) Minister" and life itself.

Raul Rebane: Savisaarianism has fallen behind the times

06.09.23 OPINION ... The Center Party does not have a crisis of leadership but rather one of ideology. Savisaarianism has become outdated, Raul Rebane finds as he takes a look back at the history of the Center Party.

Raimond Kaljulaid: Emotional outbursts do not befit a prime minister

05.09.23 OPINION ... Emotional lashing out and blaming others more befits the cast of a reality TV show and not the behavior of a prime minister, coalition Social Democrat MP Raimond Kaljulaid writes.

Kaupo Meiel: Today, we'll learn how not to be a jerk

05.09.23 OPINION ... Kaupo Meiel proposes a new subject for the nascent schoolyear: "How not to be a jerk, with practical examples from adult life."

Harri Tiido: New scientific communism in Russian higher education

30.08.23 OPINION ... Harri Tiido touches on the new Russian curriculum of "foundations of Russian statehood" and the "Russian genome" project in this episode of Vikerraadio's "Harri Tiido taustajutud." Social brainwashing is in full swing in Russia and promises to be successful, Tiido notes.

Doris Põld: M-voting sure to boost turnout

29.08.23 OPINION ... Making elections mobile gives our citizens another way in which to participate in democratic processes, Doris Põld writes.

Mihkel Mooste: Dignified death and undignified suffering

28.08.23 OPINION ... A recent criminal investigation into assisted suicide as a service shows that there are people in our society who see assisted suicide as a last resort and are willing to pay for it, Mihkel Mooste writes.

Andrew Whyte: Pin the tail on the squirrel, or why Kaja Kallas won't resign

27.08.23 OPINION ... The question of Kaja Kallas' resignation as prime minister of Estonia appeared in the media, including calls to actually do so, through the latter half of this week, over revelations her husband had a stake in a company transporting manufactured items to Russia.

Liisu Lass: Food for public relations thought in the wake of Kallas scandal

27.08.23 OPINION ... Head of TV news at ERR Liisu Lass writes how this week's Kaja Kallas scandal could serve as a textbook example of what not to do if you are a public relations manager.

Erik Gamzejev: Ida-Viru County waiting for a wizard

25.08.23 OPINION ... The government's Ida-Viru County special representative will not have a magic staff, nor are they expected to perform miracles. However, they could have a tiny hammer with which to tap on the conscience of parliamentary parties and remind them what their candidates have promised people in the region over the last three elections, Erik Gamzejev finds.

Andrus Hiiepuu: Cyber fraud costing people millions

23.08.23 OPINION ... Who is responsible for the fact that people in Estonia are taken in for millions of euros every year and what can be done about it? In the end, the decision of whether to engage a stranger offering a path to wealth is for the individual to make, Andrus Hiiepuu writes.

Indrek Kiisler: Estonia on the road to becoming a dead-end station

22.08.23 OPINION ... Estonia's number one challenge for the next decade is to stop our competitive ability from crumbling. Without it, Estonia's recent success story will be reduced to stagnation crowned by national parochialism.

Ilmar Raag: Another polling scandal is required

22.08.23 OPINION ... Media political polls tend to amplify the opinions of the more passionate and extreme minded people in society, filmmaker and communications expert Ilmar Raag says. Even if we take highly polarizing topics such as same-sex marriage or immigration, there still remains about 30 percent of society who do not care much about even these things, Raag adds in the daily commentary for ERR's Vikerraadio.

Margus Tsahkna: G7 statement interim stage on Ukraine's path to NATO

21.08.23 OPINION ... The G7 declaration, which Estonia has now joined, gives Ukraine security assurances but not the security guarantee provided by NATO, Estonia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna writes.

Evestus: Fight against climate change requires greater transparency

21.08.23 NEWS ... The global effort to combat climate change demands increased transparency and oversight, given the complex interplay of various stakeholders, rapidly evolving regulations, and substantial financial flows, which inherently heighten the risk of corruption, writes Steven-Hristo Evestus, head of Transparency International Estonia.

Mart Võrklaev: Estonia needs a savings and loan associations reform

21.08.23 OPINION ... Estonia's current savings and loan regulation is outdated and in need of changes, with problems only set to deepen over time. There is no proper supervision of savings and loan associations and people's money is not sufficiently protected, Minister of Finance Mart Võrklaev writes.

Alar Karis: The ability to politely agree to disagree is in decline

20.08.23 OPINION ... Speech by President Alar Karis on the Day of Restoration of Independence.

Tõnis Saarts: Estonia's success story and 21st century challenges

20.08.23 OPINION ... It seems that Estonia has spent too long resting on the laurels of the positive path dependency of the post-communist era, failing to realize that 21st century challenges will require entirely different approaches and solutions, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Henri Arras: Traffic jams, few parking spaces and low physical activity

18.08.23 OPINION ... Annoying congestion, not enough parking spaces and low physical activity. These are the main concerns of the residents of Estonia's two largest cities, according to a recent Norstat poll on people's mobility habits. While owning a personal vehicle is probably a necessity in the countryside, that is likely not the case in Tallinn and Tartu.

Helir-Valdor Seeder: Reform would do well to end voting rights games

17.08.23 OPINION ... The ruling party's recent steps toward revoking the right to vote of Russian and Belarusian citizens raise serious doubts in terms of their motivation to really solve this particular security issue, former Isamaa head Helir-Valdor Seeder writes.

Kaupo Meiel: Memories of the land of great restaurant service

17.08.23 OPINION ... ERR's Kaupo Meiel compares the service culture of Greece and Estonia in a daily commentary which was provided for Vikerraadio.

Hannes Nagel: Phishing for personal data a threat to everyone's security

16.08.23 OPINION ... The scandal revolving around NGO Pere Sihtkapital which obtained the personal data of thousands of Estonian women through unscrupulous means should leave us all worried. It shows just how easily one can swindle even the Ministry of Internal Affairs out of personal data in breach of both ethics and the law. It poses a serious security risk as opposed to just reputational damage, Hannes Nagel writes.

Jaak Aaviksoo: Self-igniting scandals and inflammable Estonia

15.08.23 OPINION ... Party political patterns are not hard to spot in recent scandals, while society's general inflammability is down to more than just political competition, Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

Klasche, Poopuu: Hiding radical conservative ideas behind 'science'

15.08.23 OPINION ... As social scientists, we were concerned about the academic and scientific violations involved in the recent Pere Sihtkapital survey scandal and the implications it would have for research in Estonia. But we also need to recognize and continually challenge conservative ideas being potently promoted in our society and ensure that they cannot masquerade as science, write Benjamin Klasche, lecturer of Politics and International Relations and Birgit Poopuu, associate professor of International Relations at Tallinn University (TLÜ).

Danilson-Järg: Decoupling constitutional institutions from the government

10.08.23 OPINION ... Sufficient funding and effective operation of constitutional institutions is not in the interests of bodies deciding their funding today. There are no regulations to ensure independence, which means the former will always draw the short straw, Lea Danilson-Järg writes.

Maarja Vaino: Freed serfs and the surface gleam of freedom

09.08.23 OPINION ... It increasingly seems that those who speak loudest about freedom are only offering a surface glow of the latter, the mentality of manor lords that treat free citizens as subjects making a comeback, Maarja Vaino finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Urmas Paet: Free societies could be preferred in foreign trade

08.08.23 OPINION ... Estonia should look to Taiwan with more courage and confidence, especially as concerns economic ties. Looking should be followed by action.

Meelis Oidsalu: Foreign minister's links to field hospitals export intimate

08.08.23 OPINION ... The unwillingness of Margus Tsahkna to see his roles as Estonia's foreign minister and a defense contractor conflicting sheds poor light on the government and undermines the credibility of the Estonian defense industry, Meelis Oidsalu writes.

Kiik: After five quarters of recession is Estonia still en route to wealth?

07.08.23 OPINION ... Nobody knows exactly what the substantive content of a 2006 Reform Party plan was, which intended to make Estonia one of the five richest European countries within a 15-year period, writes Center Party MP and chair of the party's Riigikogu group, Tanel Kiik.

Rein Lang: There is another way

04.08.23 OPINION ... The play titled "Car Tax Public Debate" by key members of the government will hardly land any major theater awards. The performance has been amateurish at best, even though the idea of launching into a passionate debate over the devil in the details to shroud the nature of the beast is shrewd at first glance, Rein Lang writes.

Raul Rebane: Vodka, Russia, mortality and us

02.08.23 OPINION ... Factors in birthrate in Russia include the war, alcoholism, coronavirus and emigration, which is why Russia will no longer be able to put together massive armies in the future as it just won't have the men, Raul Rebane finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Rainer Aavik: Five major trends impacting Estonian tourism

01.08.23 OPINION ... A pandemic, war, an energy crisis, temperatures continually reaching new highs — one tourism-impacting factor hasn't even dissipated yet before the next one has already arrived, messing up business models, the labor market and the revenue base. The adaptability of Estonia's tourism sector has been tested to the limit, and the near future doesn't appear to promise any relief, writes Rainer Aavik, tourism director at the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency.

Henn Põlluaas: Car tax as a necessity-based measure for Reform backers

31.07.23 OPINION ... The Reform Party has been saying for years how targeted benefits are more effective than blanket schemes. They could follow the same logic when it comes to taxes, and based on the personal state logic as outlined in the coalition agreement, car tax should only be laid down for Reform voters.

Liisa Pakosta: The car tax must not be levied on the disabled

28.07.23 OPINION ... International law sets as a goal the protection of the basic rights of people with disabilities, and not to create obstacles and barriers to the mobility for people with special needs. For this reason, the planned car tax in Estonia cannot be imposed without considering the rights of people with disabilities, as well as their family members, writes Eesti 200 MP Liisa Pakosta.

Lavly Perling: Freedom cannot be mocked

27.07.23 OPINION ... Restricting or banning non-personalized cellphone Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, which can be purchased in Estonia at kiosks and other points of sale, will not curb crime, but would instead strip away an important part of people's privacy, Lavly Perling, leader of political party Parempoolsed and a former prosecutor general, writes.

Parmas: Procedural restrictions as gauge of the trustworthiness of power

26.07.23 OPINION ... The offense of breaching a procedural restriction has met with criticism over its alleged nebulousness, alongside fears of serious and fundamental issues in applying the law, writes Prosecutor General Andres Parmas.

Ester Karuse: Estonian economy malfunctioning while banks swimming in cash

25.07.23 OPINION ... Last week's controversial news of the poor situation of the Estonian economy while commercial banks are posting record profits has left more than a few people perplexed. Why has a situation developed in Estonia where the ordinary person is forced to tighten their belt and carefully consider what they can afford, while news portals are reporting record-breaking profitability of the banking sector, Ester Karuse asks.

Vincent Homburg: The responsibility challenge for the digital age

25.07.23 OPINION ... New developments in artificial intelligence will put digital societies to the test. The good news for Estonia? It has the potential to become the world's most responsible digital society — if it chooses to blend can-do pragmatism with responsible innovation, writes Vincent Homburg, ERA chair in e-governance and digital public services at the University of Tartu (TÜ).

Martin Mölder: On going from the town to the countryside during summer

25.07.23 OPINION ... The real Estonia can be found more in rural areas, than in the city, political scientist Martin Mölder writes, and since the Estonian people, language and culture are more deeply rooted in the countryside, maintaining further and stronger ties with the land would be worthwhile – rather than treating the countryside as a place simply for rest and recuperation.

Tõnis Saarts: Overrated party leaders

24.07.23 OPINION ... The role of party chairmen is somewhat overestimated in Estonia, political scientist Tõnis Saarts finds. While important, the party as an institutional whole is far more crucial than its current leaders.

Raimond Kaljulaid: Vilnius shows West's faith in Ukraine victory not strong

15.07.23 OPINION ... The decision made at the NATO Vilnius summit not to extend an invitation to Ukraine to join the alliance can be interpreted in several ways, writes Social Democratic Party (SDE) MP Raimond Kaljulaid.

Carri Ginter and Sandra Teras: Once surrendered, privacy cannot be regained

11.07.23 OPINION ... Each and every successive national surveillance system causes hopes for even more intensive intervention. Surveillance is, after all, an effective way to root out offenders, making it wiser to concede on new highway speed camera systems before they are installed, lawyers Carri Ginter and Sandra Teras write.

James Sherr: The NATO Vilnius Summit and the limits of consensus

10.07.23 NEWS ... More than 15 years ago, NATO allies meeting at Bucharest declared that Ukraine and Georgia 'will become members of NATO.' Until February 24, 2022, the ritualized repetition of those words was seen by many in the alliance as a demonstration of resolution and principle, writes James Sherr, Senior Fellow at the Tallinn-based International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS).

EELK Archbishop: Church was coerced over registration of marriages issue

06.07.23 OPINION ... The suspension of marriage registration from January 1, 2024 following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Estonia represents an act of coercion against church governance, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Estonia (EELK) Archbishop Urmas Viilma writes.

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