Opinion

Maarja Merivoo-Parro: Positions of view and positions of seats

30.11.21 OPINION ... We live in a time of fast change, a smart world with an information space where we can understand that some things may bot continue to grow, and some things may diminish, historian and ERR science editor Maarja Merivoo-Parro said in a speech before the Riigikogu on the Day of Perpetual Estonian Nationhood – a day where Estonia has now been independent for longer than it labored under Soviet occupation.

Sunday talk shows concentrated on economic growth and new Covid variant

28.11.21 NEWS ... Sunday political talk shows on ERR radio channels discussed rapid economic growth and salary advance, as well as the state of the pandemic in Estonia in light of the new Omicron coronavirus variant.

Irja Lutsar: The strategy of a mindless virus better than mankind's best

26.11.21 OPINION ... How has it happened that a mindless virus has managed a better strategy than the combined efforts of the world's experts and top brains? Even though a lot of different approaches have been tried, no one yet knows what works best, Irja Lutsar says in her Citizen of the Year award acceptance speech.

Tõnis Saarts: How the national conservatives became liberal democrats

23.11.21 OPINION ... Recent statements by the heads of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) paint them as true liberal democrats. Restrictions for people who are not vaccinated are labeled incompatible with rule of law. The government is accused of steamroller politics and hopes placed with independent courts. That said, this seeming about-turn comes as no surprise, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Between bad, worse and worst: Europe faces tough tests this winter

23.11.21 OPINION ... Europe is under growing pressure from the East. First, the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, after a test run of weaponized waves of migrants against the Lithuanian and Latvian borders over the summer, has now sent not just hundreds but thousands of migrants to breach the borders of the European Union. Kuznica on the Polish border was only the first major attempt; many more are likely to follow to coerce the EU into accepting the regime in Minsk as legitimate and lifting the sanctions, Tomas Jermalavicius and Tomas Janeliunas write in a comment originally published by the ICDS.

Ülo Matteus: Emotions, myths and a constantly poor government

21.11.21 OPINION ... Is our political elite even capable of ensuring Estonia's longevity and stability? Or are the political ambitions of various political forces more important, Ülo Mattheus asks in a comment originally published in Sirp magazine.

'Rahva teenrid': Was Mölder resignation result of security risk?

20.11.21 POLITICS ... This week's resignation of Tõnis Mölder (Center) as environment minister was the subject of Saturday's edition of Vikerraadio politics talk show 'Rahva teenrid', with all three panelists querying whether Mölder had stepped down on his own initiative or was at least advised to do so by state security officials, given subsequent revelations that he had been suffering with a gambling addiction.

Kristi Raik: Of the bridge to Finland and multinationalism

18.11.21 OPINION ... The return of nationalism and the dangers it entails have been widely discussed in Europe in recent years. Nationalism has indeed manufactured a lot of feuds in European history. However, the small nations of northern Europe offer a number of examples of how nationalist sentiment has contributed to diverse social development, Kristi Raik writes.

Kaupo Meiel: Our daily exorcism

17.11.21 OPINION ... Leading politicians increasingly see the people as possessed by an evil spirit. Reversely, more than a few who initially welcomed Estonia's first female prime minister likely now feel that "what looked like the morning was really the beginning of an endless night," Kaupo Meiel finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Riina Solman: Maturity can help manufacture national togetherness

17.11.21 OPINION ... Concerns over lack of national togetherness have recently surfaced in Estonia. The nation should stick together in a crisis. We cannot allow the coronavirus to cause us to fall out unto jeopardizing our entire statehood. It would help us be more united if we can avoid childish behavior and try to act like adults, Riina Solman writes.

Külli Taro: People increasingly less afraid of virus than restrictions

14.11.21 OPINION ... Efforts to maintain the state's credibility are the weakest link in Estonia's strategic plan. Controversial activities, inability to convincingly justify decisions and ensure compliance are undermining the authority of the powers that be, Külli Taro finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Auditor general: Responsibility needs to become tangible again

11.11.21 OPINION ... We have reason to talk about responsibility this year. It has increasingly become a hot mess. Responsibility needs to solidify again, with everyone aware of their tasks and answerability. The latter condition not being met is quickly evident in crises, Auditor General Janar Holm said in a speech to the Riigikogu on problems of public administration in the coronavirus crisis.

Eneli Kindsiko: Estonian university 2051

10.11.21 OPINION ... I have perceived in Estonian universities and elsewhere the pattern of people choosing the academic career path following someone's example but abandoning it as a result of poor management culture and in-house conflicts, Eneli Kindsiko writes in a comment originally published in Sirp magazine.

Kaarel Tarand: Old tricks put to good use

09.11.21 OPINION ... Most Estonians can achieve climate policy targets just as successfully as they can avoid the coronavirus. The main thing is to keep hiding whatever it is we are doing from the government, Kaarel Tarand writes in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Defense minister: The security situation in our region is volatile

08.11.21 OPINION ... The most volatile security crisis of the last 30 years is currently unfolding on the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian border, Estonian Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) said on Monday after reports of hundreds of migrants massing on the European Union's eastern border.

Jaak Aaviksoo: More good governance, please

05.11.21 OPINION ... Our democracy is incapable of making decisions and fails to ensure compliance when it does try. This kind of inability is especially dangerous in critical situations as the coronavirus is a quiet Tuesday compared to more serious natural or man-made disasters, not to mention a military conflict, Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

The citizen is very glad to be reminded of things by the state

04.11.21 OPINION ... A digital state citizen should have to apply for something they are entitled to or obligated to do as seldom as possible. On the contrary, the state should offer to take care of these things for the citizen, Kuldar Taveter writes.

Kaarel Tarand: Another block in the tower of knowledge

03.11.21 OPINION ... Studying the coping of creative persons is like the Lord's work that never ends, Kaarel Tarand writes in a comment originally published in Sirp magazine.

Priit Penjam: Standardized digital turn or turning the turners first

02.11.21 OPINION ... Developing the Estonian digital state cannot happen at the expense of the competitive ability of traditional companies that form the backbone of the Estonian economy. Our greatest bottleneck is a limited labor market in the IT sector, which resource all market participants need to use a sparingly as possible, Priit Penjam writes.

Maarja Vaino: Education shapes the cultural image of every new generation

31.10.21 OPINION ... The state does not seem overly concerned about the volume and content of Estonian education, as if we were the only people on Earth who are born fluent, Maarja Vaino finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Margaret Pärli: I have done everything I can to attend school

28.10.21 OPINION ... Tallinn said on Wednesday that students of grades 4-8 will remain on remote learning for at least one week following the October school break. Yet, the education minister has repeatedly said that remote learning is a last resort and definitely not the state's first preference. The decision has many shortcomings, eighth grade student of the Tallinn French Lyceum Margaret Pärli writes.

Kiisler: Estonia's testing strategy will leave us the back marker in Europe

28.10.21 OPINION ... Radically different coronavirus testing strategies of European countries make it virtually impossible to gauge Covid prevalence using PCR testing, with some countries no longer testing fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered. At the same time, Estonia and its Baltic neighbors continue to make massive use of hugely expensive PCR tests, Indrek Kiisler writes.

Is the Riigikogu about to hike the tax burden of consumers?

28.10.21 OPINION ... Estonians have not yet recovered from this fall's electricity price shock, while the 2022 state budget already aims to considerably hike traffic fines and state fees. As if that was not enough, the government introduced a bill in late September that promises to increase the tax burden further, Allar Jõks and Piibe Lehtsaar write.

European Commission mobility chief: No need for fully state-owned airline

26.10.21 ECONOMY ... A 100 percent state-owned airline is neither sensible nor sustainable, the Estonian head of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport says, while the recent proposal to both amalgamate the three current state-owned aviation companies and lay the foundations for their part-privatization is a good one, he says.

Education minister: We will keep schools open as long as possible

26.10.21 OPINION ... Time spent learning remotely has had a negative effect on performance and mental health of students. Unstable school organization has had such a devastating effect on some people that they are flunking out of the system. If one door closes, another must open, Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna writes.

Religious war a la Estonia

26.10.21 OPINION ... The Saturday speech meeting in Tallinn once again demonstrated that knowledge results in obligations, while faith brings freedom. The freedom to believe in whatever seems most fitting at the time, Raul Rebane finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Lutheran Church leader: I am getting vaccinated

25.10.21 OPINION ... Composure and common sense are leaving the vaccination debate. Even in a situation where I see multiple legal problems in terms of limiting personal freedoms, I do not deem it possible to overlook the common good, love for my fellow man and general security in favor of individual interests and desires, Urmas Viilma writes.

Urmas Reinsalu: VAT on electricity, gas and heating needs to be lowered

25.10.21 OPINION ... The government is set to gain hundreds of millions in taxes from energy price advance, while benefits to offset the effects will likely be worth a few dozen million. People are sent queuing for benefits, while the state budget is looking at additional revenue. The best solution would be to lower the VAT rate, Isamaa MP and former foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu writes.

Tõnis Saarts: Elections as litmus test for organizational capacity

24.10.21 OPINION ... Having a considerable nationwide party organization seems mandatory if one aims to become an established and proven force in the parliament, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Tõnis Niinemets: Don't get angry, just wonder

22.10.21 OPINION ... Comedian Tõnis Niinemets happened to watch a political talk show, and writes about the impression he was left with, urging politicians to give cooperation a shot and see if it does not grow on them.

Finance minister: Estonia to get a long-term interests budget

21.10.21 OPINION ... The 2022 state budget will not solve all of Estonia's long-term needs right away, while it will be a notable step in the direction of rendering the future of people in Estonia more secure, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus writes.

Lutheran bishops: London ordination does not spell split in church

20.10.21 OPINION ... The recent participation of an Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) bishop in an ordination of a pastor held recently in London has led to an interview with head of the church, Archbishop Urmas Viilma, Biship Tiit Salumäe – the prelate who conducted the ordination – and Bishop Joel Luhamets.

Signe Riisalo: Child well-being goal of family mediation

20.10.21 OPINION ... The government has approved the creation of a national family mediation system to spare children from the bureaucracy of their parents separating and to safeguard child welfare, Signe Riisalo writes.

Jüri Saar: The advent of the zombie parties

20.10.21 OPINION ... Some parties reach a new qualitative stage in their retrogression that could be described as zombification. Such processes are evident in Europe and the United States, as well as in Estonia, Jüri Saar writes.

Kaupo Meiel: My fiver

19.10.21 OPINION ... Words have become flesh and ratings morphed into support. The political picture is as clear as it gets for the moment, with no need to look to the universe for signals. But it will change, Kaupo Meiel said in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Külli Taro: Elections just the entry exam

17.10.21 OPINION ... The first major stepping stone of politicians seems to be the conviction that things will simply happen once they provide a political direction. They won't. Underestimating the importance of execution is one of the main reasons policies and promises fail, Külli Taro finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Raido Saar: Cryptocurrency companies facing another gauntlet

15.10.21 OPINION ... The proposal to revoke all cryptocurrency licenses and start from scratch is as absurd as it is shortsighted. It vilifies honest and law-abiding companies, and should new draconian rules force them to close shop, the state should prepare to compensate firms for investments and missed profits, Raido Saar writes.

Erik Gamzejev: 'Adverse analytical findings' at elections

14.10.21 OPINION ... Greater voter turnout is the only thing that helps minimize the effect of votes secured using underhanded practices, Erik Gamzejev said in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Jevgeni Ossinovski: Five proposals for more effective vaccination

13.10.21 OPINION ... Kaja Kallas failed to make a single positive proposal for boosting vaccination on the Vikerraadio "Stuudios on peaminister" program, while she did once again ask me to offer mine. Here are five concrete proposals, Jevgeni Ossinovski writes.

Karis: I intend to be a balancer above all, and if necessary, a mediator

11.10.21 OPINION ... Estonia's new President Alar Karis said in his first speech to the Riigikogu that he intends to be a balancer above all, and if necessary, a mediator during his presidential term. His full speech is republished below.

Frozen healthcare officials need to do something

08.10.21 OPINION ... Provided the latest wave of the coronavirus does not subside, the government will eventually cave to pressure from hospitals and start restricting the daily lives of vaccinated people. Because, by then, it will be the only way to demonstrate that efforts are being made, with intimidation perhaps effective at convincing an extra few thousand people to get the shot.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves: Alexei Navalny and the West's Schröderizatsiya

07.10.21 OPINION ... Former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves gave the laudatory speech at a ceremony in honor of Alexei Navalny, the Russian dissident and opposition leader imprisoned by Russian authorities since early on this year and recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. Navalny is 2021's recipient of the Knight of Freedom Award 2021. The text of Toomas Hendrik Ilves' speech marking the award and given at the Warsaw Security Forum on Wednesday evening, October 6, is as follows.

Mari-Liis Jakobson: Will voter turnout continue to dwindle?

06.10.21 OPINION ... What will be different at the upcoming [local] elections? Will voter turnout continue to dwindle? The first question can be answered now, while the second requires a little patience. Mari-Liis Jakobson looks at what the looming elections will bring and what has changed little or not at all in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Kalle Koop: Rescue workers protesting despite salary advance. Why?

06.10.21 OPINION ... The people support rescue workers' salary demands as they realize how grotesque it is that the most popular agency in charge of internal security pays its workers the least by a country mile. It is clearly neither fair nor sustainable, Kalle Koop writes.

Arne Koitmäe: Is Estonia ready for m-voting?

04.10.21 OPINION ... Could Estonians be able to vote safely using smart devices in the near future, Arne Koitmäe asks.

Kaupo Meiel: Topics great and small

04.10.21 OPINION ... One danger of a long and intense elections campaign is parties' messages melting into one, as I am already convinced that the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) loves Estonia that is cared for by the Reform Party (medley of elections slogans – ed.), Kaupo Meiel says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

President: Only a truly free person can be truly creative

01.10.21 OPINION ... Creative and brave people, in turn, are a sign of a free society because only truly free people are creative, President Kersti Kaljualid said at the opening of Tallinn Music Week 2021 on Thursday.

Ministry secretary general: Lake Peipsi saved by cross-border cooperation

29.09.21 NEWS ... It is as clear as day that if you share a trans-boundary watercourse with another state, the efforts of one party are not enough. By 1997, both Estonia and Russia had realized that the management of Lake Peipsi – one of the best fishing lakes in the world – and the Narva River required targeted action from both sides, writes Harry Liiv, Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of the Environment.

Indrek Kiisler: EU green turn will never be realized in proposed form

27.09.21 OPINION ... The green turn will not materialize in the form proposed by Brussels. I have seen too many empty documents and how they eventually end up in the trash in my day. In truth, things on this planet are improving even without massive programs and campaigns, Indrek Kiisler writes.

Tõnis Saarts: Elections without the 'Russian card'?

27.09.21 OPINION ... It seems that local elections will not revolve around a single core problem with the potential of mobilizing voters in the capital this time. The so-called Russian card no longer seems to be working, while other potential conflicts lack a sufficient degree of drama, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

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