Opinion

Karilaid: EKRE success at self-destruction and the eternal Center Party

18.04.21 OPINION ... Why should the Center Party worry about EKRE? Yes, they have temporarily become the second most popular party, with their vertigo now obvious. But their statements will culminate in a painful hangover. The Center Party will not allow them to spin lies of a police state, coercive treatment and the dangers of the European Union, Jaanus Karilaid writes.

Indrek Kiisler: EKRE knows to take people by the hand

18.04.21 OPINION ... The Conservative People's Party (EKRE) has an uncanny ability to gauge and capitalize on moods in society. Other parties, especially the Social Democrats and Isamaa, have a lot to learn from this.

Public address: On influence activities of the People's Republic of China

16.04.21 OPINION ... Influence activity pursued by the People's Republic of China is a threat to academic and press freedoms. A public letter to the Riigikogu, government, boards of Estonian universities, independent research institutions, journalistic publications and all scientists, teachers, journalists, culture workers and politicians in Estonia.

Taavi Veskimägi: European investments to take defense industry to new level

14.04.21 OPINION ... Estonian research and development in the field of defense has for the first time secured major funding from the European Union. Defense development projects have previously fallen to member states and contractors, Taavi Veskimägi writes.

Raimond Kaljulaid: White book a good initiative from the Kallas government

13.04.21 OPINION ... Every plan that is still in the debate phase can be criticized and scoured for discrepancies, while it seems the Government Office has generally done a good job on the so-called white book, Raimond Kaljulaid writes.

Toomas Sildam: Estonia reached out but Russia did not reciprocate

13.04.21 OPINION ... Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets showed initiative when she requested a phone call with her Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov. The call was necessary – Russia does not want to ratify the border agreement it signed with Estonia seven years ago, Toomas Sildam writes.

Paloma Krõõt Tupay: Are we on the verge of creating a police state?

11.04.21 OPINION ... Will the planned amendment to the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act (NETS) lay the foundation for a totalitarian state? No, it will not. However, it also fails to help us move closer to a clearer, more surefooted legal order, jurist Paloma Krõõt Tupay writes.

A nightclub a safe place, while home is not

08.04.21 OPINION ... Even though safety in public places still needs to be promoted through better street lighting, it is more urgent to learn to listen to what is happening behind closed doors as victims of violence suffer from mental health issues in addition to direct health damage.

Huko Aaspõllu: Economic boom around the corner

08.04.21 OPINION ... We are about to enter a coronavirus recovery boom. The economy opening up is a matter of a few months. At the same time, we should not forget that not everyone has been hit equally in the crisis and for those who drew the shortest stick, recovery might even work to deepen inequality, Huko Aaspõllu finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

April 1 through the prism of humor or farewell blue Thursday

06.04.21 OPINION ... Thousands of email inboxes all over the land came under an avalanche of press releases, memos and resolutions starting on the morning of April 1 with which the public sector and private companies saw fit to celebrate the international day of humor. More than a few journalists have been hospitalized following exhaustion from reading so many funny emails.

Signe Riisalo: Average pension should be and remain exempt from income tax

06.04.21 OPINION ... Pension hikes need to continue also in the coming years. What is more, additional sums should not be swallowed by income tax – the average pension needs to be and remain exempt from income tax. The state should not hike pensions with one hand while taking it back in the form of income tax with the other, Signe Riisalo writes.

Leo Rummel: Estonia needs a major science and technology discovery center

01.04.21 OPINION ... Industry is moving toward automation and digitalization in the modern world and Estonia is in desperate need of industrial and product design engineers who could bring new ideas and introduce new technologies, Leo Rummel writes.

Vladimir Svet: Let us make mass testing happen in Lasnamäe

01.04.21 OPINION ... Extensive mass testing is needed to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Tallinn's largest borough. The major undertaking is feasible despite its complexity, while experience of other countries suggests it has the potential to cut infection rates in half, Vladimir Svet writes.

Jaanus Karilaid: Pandemic to provide state reform spark

01.04.21 OPINION ... What to do so that entrepreneurs and citizens would not accuse politicians of persecution and standing in the way of progress? The answer is that we need to execute the state reform post haste, Jaanus Karilaid writes.

Anton Aleksejev: Wider selection of sources for Russians

31.03.21 OPINION ... Center Party politicians Mihhail Kõlvart and Yana Toom could inoculate themselves with all the available vaccines without it having any effect on people like Olga Vassiljevna from Lasnamäe. She is afraid of vaccines because she has too much information and no way of reliably analyzing which parts of it are true and which are false, journalist Anton Aleksejev says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Jevgeni Ossinovski: Why have we left the weakest without proper protection?

31.03.21 OPINION ... We have vaccinated more of those who complain the loudest and are easier to have come in. This has left the weakest part of society without the protection it needs. In a situation where many countries have achieved near universal coverage, Estonia has managed to give at least one vaccine dose to just 40 percent of people over the age of 80, Jevgeni Ossinovski writes.

Lauri Läänemets: Lord of the manor mentality means no mercy for commoners

30.03.21 OPINION ... The state paying for the isolation of diagnosed and potentially infectious people would be the most effective way to contain the spread of the virus next to vaccination, Lauri Läänemets writes.

Reflecting on the suffering of Alexei Navalny, while remembering Jüri Kukk

30.03.21 OPINION ... Even if we cannot directly block Moscow from doing these things, we shouldn't allow official Russia to simply torment Navalny with impunity either, Jüri Estam writes, thinking back to the fate of Estonian dissident Jüri Kukk and other victims of communist abuses.

Raul Rebane: On remembering national traumas

28.03.21 OPINION ... Every nation must fight for its historical truth and the struggle is becoming more serious every day, Raul Rebane finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Andres Maimik: Lent of negative thinking

28.03.21 OPINION ... I have always recoiled from senseless positivism, Andres Maimik writes in an essay first published in Sirp magazine.

March Deportation. Arduous Journey to Siberia

26.03.21 OPINION ... Based on archival sources and memoirs, Aigi Rahi-Tamm, a historian, and associate professor of archival studies at the University of Tartu, describes the difficulties suffered on the way by the Estonian citizens who were forcibly deported to Siberia in March 1949. The March deportations were carried out based on the USSR Council of Ministers 1949 Decree No 390-138ss, pursuant to which 22,500 persons had to be deported from Estonia and a total of 87,000 from the three Baltic States together. They were labelled "kulaks," "bandits," "nationalists" etc. and included the elderly and children. The article is published in cooperation with the CommunistCrimes portal.

Liina Kersna: How to achieve virus-free schools?

26.03.21 OPINION ... The whole world is making efforts to keep schools virus-free during the coronavirus period. We have also launched relevant discussions and activity planning. While this should have been done last summer, it is better late than never, Liina Kersna writes.

Jaak Valge: Of freedom of speech and efforts to cancel history

26.03.21 OPINION ... Cancel culture is nothing short of castrating history, while it is about more than that. It is also a threat to free society because its goal is not to find the best solution or the truth but rather to reinforce a particular ideology by limiting information and aggressively condemning attitudes that are out of favor. Efforts to chancel history have now arrived in Estonia, Jaak Valge writes.

Indrek Kiisler: Let us soon set free the vaccinated

23.03.21 OPINION ... I believe we should allow the movement of people who are fully immunized or have recovered from the virus. False solidarity that would see everyone locked up until every single man, woman and child is vaccinated might sound beautiful as a slogan but is useless in real life, Indrek Kiisler finds in Vikerraadio daily comment.

Kuldar Taveter: Why is crisis management beyond the (e-)state?

23.03.21 OPINION ... When developing state e-services, one should not narrowly concentrate on users of specific services and look at e-service interest groups on a much broader scale. We need a bigger picture of state information system target groups and their need to exchange data, Kuldar Taveter writes.

Government-by-Facebook may be causing public confusion

23.03.21 OPINION ... Politicians' use of social media and in particular Facebook to make important announcements has been blamed for causing public confusion, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Five political lessons from the coronavirus crisis

21.03.21 OPINION ... The Reform Party made constant efforts to demonstrate that the approach of Jüri Ratas' government to solving the crisis was misguided. Why then is [Prime Minister] Kaja Kallas resorting to almost identical measures and restrictions today? Turning the crisis into an object of political point-scoring has failed for all parties, Tõnis Saarts says in Vikerraadio daily comment.

Defense minister: Deterrence challenges to NATO and EU can still be met

20.03.21 OPINION ... Maintaining focus, doubling down on the concept of deterrence and promoting solidarity are all key if both NATO and the EU are to succeed in defending themselves against Estonia's eastern neighbor in any sense of the phrase, defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform) writes. Meanwhile in concrete terms, both air and maritime defense are as important as ever.

Eero Epner: I, Claudius

18.03.21 OPINION ... One's center substituted by a jacket, values by vague and often misfiring political instinct, goals by talking points and opinions by slogans. Eero Epner analyzes the phenomenon of former PM, incoming Riigikogu speaker Jüri Ratas.

Züleyxa Izmailova: Families with children must not be overlooked in crisis

17.03.21 OPINION ... The coronavirus crisis that has now lasted for over a year has hurt the income of many families. It is time to table the Reform Party's 2019 Riigikogu elections promise of abolishing kindergarten place fees, Züleyxa Izmailova writes.

Siim Kallas: EU wants to effect true digital and climate turns

17.03.21 OPINION ... We have plotted a clear course in the European Union for strengthening Europe's digital sovereignty and laying down our own standards instead of copying others. The plan is to invest in ultra-high-speed internet links and develop super processing of big data to create innovative solutions for medicine, transport and the environment, Siim Kallas says in a speech delivered in the Riigikogu.

Merlin Rehema: On-demand solutions to complement county public transport

16.03.21 OPINION ... It is high time to plan public transport based on people's needs and give new meaning to its role and nature. Now, when a recent National Audit Office report proposes weighing additional solutions next to regular bus lines in sparsely populated areas, is the time to think about transport on demand.

Kaupo Meiel: Same s**t, different day

14.03.21 OPINION ... One cannot hang out in supermarkets, children are not allowed to go to school or sports fans return to gym. The good old 2+2 is back and social drinking in an upscale restaurant has been replaced with the nostalgic combo of kitchen vodka and a sleeveless shirt, Kaupo Meiel writes.

Ülle Matt: How to close the gender wage gap in companies?

12.03.21 OPINION ... The gender wage gap cannot be abolished overnight and it takes time to create a sustainable pay framework, Ülle Matt writes.

Merilin Pärli: Handicraft state that does not offer tailored e-solutions

12.03.21 OPINION ... Estonian IT solutions are like pre-industrial revolution manufacturing where everything was made by hand which took a lot of time and effort. The coronavirus crisis has cast light on the lack of convenient and functional IT solutions in healthcare, and nothing has changed over the past year, ERR journalist Merilin Pärli writes.

Rannar Vassiljev: Covid cares not for the prime minister's views

10.03.21 OPINION ... One of the more important tasks of leaders is to keep in check the human irrationality of themselves and their organization when making decisions. Especially in crisis situations such as the one we have today. This is where the government has made the biggest mistakes under Kaja Kallas' stewardship, Rannar Vassiljev writes.

Mari-Liis Jakobson: Christmas tree and flowers on Women's Day

10.03.21 OPINION ... For me, Women's Day is not just a day for women but one for pondering the interaction of men and women in general. Standing up for women's rights is not a goal in itself as balanced societies are simply more efficient, Mari-Liis Jakobson finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Toomas Sildam: Things are going to get hot

08.03.21 OPINION ... There will be a great battle for Narva this time around, journalist Toomas Sildam writes in his weekly comment, looking ahead to looming local government council elections.

Karmen Joller: Why vaccination is slow, an explanatory note for the PM

07.03.21 OPINION ... It is possible for work to progress slowly in a situation where it is impossible to plan. Family doctors have now spent two months trying to administer vaccines that are almost nonexistent. While there are some in certain places and too many in others, with not enough here and there, Karmen Joller writes.

Raul Rebane: Five proposals for the coronavirus crisis

07.03.21 OPINION ... Raul Rebane makes five proposals for handling coronavirus problems in Vikerraadio's daily comment. If you see a person in a public space or on public transport without a mask, point it out and do not be afraid, Rebane recommends.

Ragne Kõuts-Klemm: Of Covid information in the Russian-speaking community

03.03.21 OPINION ... Russian-speaking people are not more receptive to propaganda than Estonians. A Russian-speaking resident also needs thorough, diverse, balanced and knowledge-based as opposed to propagandist information, Ragne Kõuts-Klemm writes.

Kangur and Kase: Good practice better than censorship regarding hate speech

03.03.21 OPINION ... While the Reform Party's intention of limiting freedom of speech might be aimed at reducing social conflict, it entails too many dangers. Every public and private conversation will be given a much more rigid frame, Cornelia Kangur and Karl Sander Kase write.

Irony of the digital state – vaccination using printed spreadsheets

03.03.21 OPINION ... Those on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis should not have to work with tools and methods from the previous century and should be able to concentrate on helping people in the crisis, family doctor Diana Ingerainen writes.

Jaak Aaviksoo: Coronavirus lessons for energy policy

01.03.21 OPINION ... European Union rules and agreements do not ensure sufficient and sensible cooperation of member states in critical moments and there is a considerable risk that vital crises will boil down to the principle of "every man for himself," Jaak Aaviksoo writes.

Andres Tarand: Estonians have not completely shaken off the occupation yet

28.02.21 OPINION ... Andres Tarand was among the first prime ministers of re-independent Estonia and his courage to do the right thing at the right time helped lay the foundation of the country's success story. A person is not raised to be an exemplary prime minister and has their own quirks from way back when, Tarand cheerfully says in an interview to Diplomaatia and ERR.

Kaja Kallas: Fines need to follow noncompliance with measures

28.02.21 OPINION ... My wish is for Estonia to remain as open as possible during the coronavirus period. We managed to take care for a long time, while we have let ourselves go now that overcoming the virus is within our reach, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas writes on the eve of entry into force of new coronavirus measures.

LRT: Baltics, Britain alliance has prospered. Brexit won't change it

26.02.21 NEWS ... The heads of the foreign affairs committees at the British and Lithuanian parliaments, Tom Tugendhat and Žygimantas Pavilionis, have written about the strong links between the UK, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and how they will not be damaged by Brexit.

Prime Minister: Getting virus under control responsibility of us all

22.02.21 OPINION ... The coronavirus epidemiological situation is grave, the virus is still highly potent and it is propagating widely, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) told the Riigikogu Monday, ahead of the national holiday marking independence day on February 24, and on the same day a new round of restrictions came into force. While stress and fatigue with restrictions arae on the up, over time, there is more reason to be hopeful than before, she added, in the speech which follows in its entirety.

Tõnis Saarts: The origins of cursing experts

21.02.21 OPINION ... The superiority of the intellectual aristocracy and experts and the plurality of opinion in the digital age do not mix. This fundamental controversy has people confused, Tõnis Saarts finds in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Vadim Belobrovtsev: Why teachers are reluctant to be vaccinated?

21.02.21 OPINION ... Vaccination is a personal decision. We cannot force anyone to be inoculated using a particular vaccine. That said, immunization of teachers is important from the point of view of schools, students and parents and helps ensure continued studies until the end of the school year," Tallinn Deputy Mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev writes.

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