Opinion

Marten Kokk: European climate policy and Estonia's chance

17.01.20 ... The European Commission published its vision of how to finance the European Green Deal the day before yesterday. The deal itself was published on December 11. Europe has clearly plotted a course for carbon neutrality by 2050 that is the only sensible and responsible reaction imaginable, considering what is happening to the planet.

Andres Parmas: Punishment is always society's revenge

15.01.20 ... Even though any punishment is always society's revenge to some extent, its effect cannot be limited to paying for pain with pain as that would constitute failure to address the reasons that have led people astray, Prosecutor General Andres Parmas (42) says.

Opinion: Interior ministry bill restricts foreign students' rights

14.01.20 ... A draft amendment to the Aliens Act tabled by the Ministry of the Interior makes it incomprehensibly complicated for foreign students to study in Estonia, restricts their opportunities to work and earn a living, and obstructs them from staying on and working in Estonia, argue Joanna Kurvits of the Federation of Estonian Student Unions (EÜL) and Allan Aksiim, chair of the University of Tartu Student Council (Tartu Ülikooli Üliõpilaskond).

Kaarel Tarand: Parties' hopes for survival not dashed yet

14.01.20 ... Net assets of Estonian parties sported a deficit of €2 million last year, giving those with money to spend the chance to buy legislation and other benefits. Kaarel Tarand suggests doubling state budget support for parties to remedy the problem in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Opinion: Without panic, Southeastern Estonia not running out of people

13.01.20 ... If a municipality's best and only idea is to construct a new municipality center while cutting back on support for the region's private schools, it is little wonder residents up and leave, Mirjam Mõttus says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

International law expert: Estonia joined the 'real world' with Iran crisis

08.01.20 ... Estonia faces its first serious challenge since starting its two-year stint as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), in the light of the stand-off between the United States and Iran, says Lauri Mälksoo, professor of international law at the University of Tartu.

Raul Rebane: Prime minister and February 24

08.01.20 ... Raul Rebane analyzes Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' decision not to attend the president's February 24 reception, saying that the step might prove much more significant than believed.

Marin Mõttus: Baghdad glowing

07.01.20 ... The recent confrontation is rendering the situation more volatile in the entire Middle East and beyond, but its axis, glowing core and the principal battlefield will likely be Iraq, Marin Mõttus writes.

If we do not support our own media, we will start paying for others'

06.01.20 ... Countries that are among the wealthiest in the EU have already surrendered most of their advertising revenue to foreign platforms, meaning less money for investigative journalism and all manner of quality content, Mart Raudsaar, head of the Estonian Association of Media Enterprises, writes.

Analysis: What happened at Postimees and its effect on the media in Estonia

03.01.20 ... Postimees is heading into 2020 without an editor-in-chief, short on strong journalists and in a situation where a conflict with the CEO is affecting the work of the editorial board in general. This might herald a fundamental change for the Estonian press in different scenarios.

Urmas Reinsalu: It was a year of media radicalization

02.01.20 ... President Lennart Meri once said that the press was acting like a political party. I did not understand the criticism at the time. I believe I do now. Meri was suggesting that the media was trying to enforce its agenda in the public domain, [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Urmas Reinsalu writes.

Põlluaas: We can achieve so much together

02.01.20 ... It has been a tradition in Estonia to give a new coalition 100 days without criticism. This worthy practice was flouted this time: by the opposition, the media and the president. I would like to urge all of you to be more thoughtful and respectful towards each other, President of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas says in his New Year's greeting.

Papers: Pharmacy moguls cutting off their own noses to spite their faces

19.12.19 ... Editorials in two Estonian dailies on Thursday were highly critical of the snap decision by retail pharmacy chains to close a large number of outlets on Wednesday afternoon, calling the act blackmail and the cynical manipulation of people's well-being. All links in Estonian.

Belittling cashier also hits EKRE voters

17.12.19 ... By insulting Finland's young female prime minister, Mart Helme first and foremost insulted his own voters: people who have simple jobs, less fortunate people and rural area residents, Marju Himma says in Vikerraadio's media comment.

Analyst: New mode in Estonian politics

17.12.19 ... Constant short-term scandals constitute a new situation in Estonian politics, but because no coalition partner wants to break apart the government, there is no end in sight, University of Tartu political analyst Martin Mölder said on Vikerraadio.

Law change curtailing reporting of ongoing court cases sees widespread use

17.12.19 ... Media reports say that courts have been zealously using an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which entered into force last year restricting press coverage of courtrooms.

Mart Kadastik: Feelings are real

17.12.19 ... Whatever different experts think about the sensibility of the second pillar of pension, for example, that is not what is splitting society. It hardly excites anyone. What is pitting people against each other concerns values that cannot be measured, Mart Kadastik writes.

Toomas Sildam: Once again we have to apologize for Mart Helme's words

16.12.19 ... The new Finnish government is making Estonian interior minister Mart Helme's hair stand on end because, in his words, "a cashier has become prime minister," ERR's Toomas Sildam writes, adding that in actual fact it is Estonian diplomats' hairs currently standing on end as they have to clarify Helme's words, so clearly insulting to a friendly neighbor.

Indrek Neivelt: Empty threats in 2019

14.12.19 ... Indrek Neivelt looks back at the year 2019 in Vikerraadio's daily comment and finds that the things people were warned against had little real impact.

Jüri Ratas: Europe must celebrate hope for the future

11.12.19 ... The year 2019 should not go down in history as the one when a new metallic cover started to settle over the window of Europe, PM Jüri Ratas said when giving the Riigikogu an overview of the government's European Union policy.

Agu Leinfeld: Let us have an internet-free day in Estonia

05.12.19 ... Agu Leinfeld proposes having a day without internet every year in Estonia. A day when all companies, schools, hospitals, places of sale and state agencies would work without internet-based solutions.

Aivar Hundimägi: Minister Martin Helme found a tax nugget

05.12.19 ... Minister of Finance Mart Helme (EKRE) unwittingly drew attention to a harebrained rule in Estonian tax law this week, Aivar Hundimägi says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Head of the Lutheran church Archbishop Urmas Viilma's advent reflection

04.12.19 ... Head of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Archbishop Urmas Viilma gave an advent reflection at St. Mary's Cathedral (Toomkirik) on Wednesday. The English transcription follows.

Aivar Kokk: Pension reform should not overlook role of funds

03.12.19 ... The pension reform is important because it will give people the chance to decide their finances and future for themselves. At the same time, it is equally important to make sure pension funds continue to invest in the Estonian economy, Aivar Kokk writes.

Marju Himma: National university threatened by poor grasp of Estonian

03.12.19 ... The national or Estonian-speaking university recently celebrated its centennial. The anniversary will see debates on the situation of Estonian higher education and research. Whether the onslaught of foreign languages places it in jeopardy? Do researchers still communicate the results of their work in Estonian? To what extent does the trend of internationalization endanger it, Marju Himma asks in Vikerraadio's media comment.

Sildam: Neither officials nor politicians can run the country by themselves

02.12.19 ... Current EU Ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas said two years ago that the conviction according to which officials could run Estonia by themselves is false, Toomas Sildam writes.

Annely Akkermann: A shift in use of power

26.11.19 ... By dismissing the Ministry of Rural Affairs' secretary general Illar Lemetti, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has not solved Estonia's government crisis but created a new and even bigger one.

Media mogul Hans H. Luik: Anonymous comments fell victim to capitalism

26.11.19 ... The owner of one of Estonia's two major private media groups says that the standard of anonymous online comments on media sites began to fall, as editorial staff at such publications started to optimize costs and move towards a simpler common denominator.

Tarmo Jüristo: Perhaps we're not about to get used to threats

26.11.19 ... The price of being a public figure or participating in politics should not be one's preparedness to stoically suffer obscenity, death or rape threats, Tarmo Jüristo says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Samost and Sildam: Mart Helme forgot one rule of communication

25.11.19 ... Interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) forgot one simple rule of communication when talking to the Estonian government's "plan B" to the Finnish media, ERR senior journalists Toomas Sildam and Anvar Samost found.

Jaak Madison: E-voting reform and constitutional infringement

19.11.19 ... The new foreign trade and IT minister should consider the constitutional aspect of e-voting as it has turned out by now that the Riigikogu decision from 2005 that admitted constitutional infringement but said it was less important that anticipated positive effect on voter turnout has proved inaccurate, MEP Jaak Madison writes.

Siim Kallas: Democracy and power, power and democracy

14.11.19 ... We could have a citizens' assembly made up of respected people based on professional and social position. This body should have quite a few members. It would not take the place of legislative power but complement it with opinions, Siim Kallas writes.

Huko Aaspõllu: Pharmacy reform has failed

13.11.19 ... Everyone understands that a reform that would only allow dispensing pharmacists with higher education to own pharmacies, set to enter into force from April of next year, will not take effect in time. Instead of playing for time or introducing cosmetic changes to the reform plan, the pharmacy market should be liberalized to a substantial degree, ERR journalist Huko Aaspõllu says in Vikerraadio's daily comment.

Toomas Sildam: Ministers' words carry double weight

12.11.19 ... It cannot be written off as a joke when Minister of the Interior Mart Helme says that a "politically motivated criminal case has been brought" against the former adviser of Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik. The utterance sees Helme report a crime against rule of law and the state based upon it, journalist Toomas Sildam writes in ERR's weekly comment.

Opinion: It all began in Gdansk

08.11.19 ... This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a signal and concrete, quite literally, event, which heralded the end of the Cold War.

Minister's domestic violence comment to pregnant women sparks controversy

07.11.19 ... "People often mix up domestic violence and a family squabble, but every conflict that may end up physical is not domestic violence," Minister of Population Riina Solman (Isamaa) told a group of pregnant women at Pelgulinna Maternity Hospital, only to be interrupted by West-Tallinn Central Hospital Women's Clinic director Piret Veerus, who stressed that physical conflict is always domestic violence.

ERR news chief: No issue with Estonian media content, but funding a worry

30.10.19 ... While Estonian media content is in good order, funding remains an issue, said ERR's head of News and Sport Anvar Samost on Wednesday.

Daily editorials point finger at Kingo following resignation

24.10.19 ... Editorials in Estonia's daily newspapers have been unanimous in viewing Kert Kingo's resignation as IT and foreign trade minister Wednesday evening as the only viable step she could have taken, adding that she had both acted dishonestly and been incompetent on the job.

President on media freedom at Äripäev conference

23.10.19 ... President Kersti Kaljulaid's speech at Äripäev's 30th anniversary conference '30 years of free press in Estonia'

Toomas Sildam: Meetings not to be followed up without Russia-policy

21.10.19 ... Until we do not know the Russia-policy of the government of the Centre Party, EKRE and Isamaa, we can only talk about isolated meetings with no follow-up when it comes to Estonia-Russia relations, journalist Toomas Sildam writes in ERR's weekly comment.

Mikser and Kaljulaid: Why fight freedom?

21.10.19 ... We are convinced that the triumph of right-radical populism is far from inevitable in Europe and Estonia. That said, we must not sit around waiting for radical populists to discredit themselves as such an experiment would be far too costly for society, Raimond Kaljulaid and Sven Mikser write.

Kristiina Raud: Why is LGBT+ so special?

18.10.19 ... We agree with our opponents on one thing: we really could use more donations to ensure our independent work capacity. However, that does not mean what we do only matters to a few people, Kristiina Raud from the Estonian LGBT Society writes.

Andres Siplane: Shooting oneself in the academic foot

17.10.19 ... No reform should be based on just one or two studies, Andres Siplane writes

Raul Rebane: Heroes are made heroic by behavior, not achievements

14.10.19 ... Raul Rebane voices his take on two major recent events — the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha and the closing of Tallinn Television in Vikerraadio's media comment.

Jevgeni Ossinovski: Education is the best public investment

11.10.19 ... The education system must proceed based on two core values: quality and equal access. Or to put it simply (and to borrow from Barack Obama), so that even the poorest kid would have access to the best education, writes former education minister Jevgeni Ossinovski.

Jaan Raik: On the Taltech case, without paranoia

10.10.19 ... A week before the start of the new academic year, Postimees launched an attack on supposedly rampant corruption in Estonian universities. The first to take flak was TalTech, followed by the University of Tartu. The phenomenon was described as systematic – just the tip of the iceberg revealed by a whistleblower, writes Jaan Raik, member of TalTech's Ragnar Nurkse institute investigative committee.

Keit Pentus-Rosimannus: Estonia could be a climate neutrality trailblazer

07.10.19 ... While the government took its sweet time giving the EU climate neutrality target the green light, the move is very welcome, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus writes.

Indrek Neivelt: It would be good to avoid dogmas in tax debate

04.10.19 ... It would be good if the tax debate could avoid dogmas and all proposals would be given a chance. We must definitely tax polluting the environment more and introduce a tax on sugar, Indrek Neivelt said on Vikerraadio's daily comment section.

What the papers say: Teach your neighbor Estonian, Lidl prices, pensions

25.09.19 ... On Sept. 25 the papers were still mainly discussing the budget, pension increase, and the case of the missing former head of Danske Bank in Estonia, Aivar Rehe. But here are some other stories and comments that were also in the news on Wednesday.

What the papers say: IT minister's Huawei phone, pensions, Christmas trees

24.09.19 ... On Tuesday, Sept. 24 the papers were discussing pension increases, a TV interview with IT minister Kert Kingo, and the hunt for Tallinn's next Christmas tree.
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