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Old 03-08-2007   #21
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Default Amnesty slammed Estonia's language inspectorate

Amnesty's row with Estonia over minorities heats up
By Ben Nimmo Mar 1, 2007, 17:53 GMT

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Almost a third of Estonia's 1.35 million inhabitants are ethnic Russians, but the state's only official language is Estonian. The inspectorate's job is to maintain the national language's status.
Quote:
When Estonia declared the renewal of independence in 1991, it decided to only grant automatic citizenship to those families which had been citizens before 1940. All other residents could achieve citizenship by passing exams in Estonian language and history.
This is a 16 year long battle here. In order for me to legally work here, I had to learn and be tested in Estonian Language, Culture and History. The ethnic Russians have lived here for 50 years and can barely muster a 'thank you' in Estonian. How much time do you need ? I had 13 weeks in 95

Quote:
But officials at the inspectorate dismissed the claims, saying that the amendments simply change the organization's legal status.

'The amendments don't make a difference to our work. What they mean is that while we worked under a government regulation before, we're now regulated by law,' inspectorate spokeswoman Hele Parn told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
Quote:
'It is a bad piece of work, ahistorical and unbalanced. It echoes Kremlin propaganda in a way that Estonians find sinister and offensive,' wrote Edward Lucas, the Economist's regional expert.
More on this here: http://news.monstersandcritics.com/europe

Last edited by Stan; 03-08-2007 at 07:33 AM. Reason: forgot Edward !
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Old 03-08-2007   #22
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Tanaan, Herra Reber.
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Old 03-08-2007   #23
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Default Your first Estonian Lesson

Old Eagle,
That would actually be this way: Tänan, härra Reber.
Seega, Suur tänu Sullegi !

Sorry 12 years of this Eesti keel
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Old 03-08-2007   #24
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That's cool; not sure I can make my keyboard do that.
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Old 03-09-2007   #25
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Si, si, peristroka!
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Old 03-10-2007   #26
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Default Italian job lands gang of Estonian jewel robbers in jail

Mar 07, 2007
By Joel Alas
http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17450/

No kidnapping this time around

Quote:
TALLINN - Their charge sheet reads like a film script – a gang of 33 Estonians accused of swiping six million euros worth of valuables from a string of Italian jewelry boutiques. But for the alleged thieves, the reality of their crimes bit hard this month when an Estonian court signed an order for their extradition to Italy.
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Old 03-11-2007   #27
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I guess you can teach a Ruskie new tricks

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The Estonian government ruled on Thursday to grant Estonian citizenship to 838 people, mostly Russian- speaking ones.

These people have complied with all necessary criteria and passed tests on the knowledge of the Estonian language, the constitution, and the law On Citizenship, the government press service told Interfax.

The government plans to naturalize annually about 5,000 aliens in the coming years.

Out of 1.4 million people living in Estonia at the present time, some 125,000 have no citizenship and about 100,000 others are citizens of Russia and other former Soviet republics.
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Old 03-12-2007   #28
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Default Center Party will be exiled to the opposition benches of parliament

Mar 12, 2007
Staff and wire reports
http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17486/

Quote:
Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said a coalition agreement could be signed by March 26. Early indications point to a coalition between Reform, the Union of Pro Patria and Respublica (IRL), the Social Democrats and the Estonian Greens.

It is widely expected that the Center Party will be exiled to the opposition benches of parliament.
Talks are underway between the four parties, with key agreement points under heavy discussion. Ansip said there was “no signs of anyone intending to drop out” of the negotiations.
Ansip said that the partners had very frankly discussed the dangers that could face a four-party coalition. He said that as long as everyone admitted the importance of passing decisions by consensus and constructive cooperation, the existence of four parties wouldn't necessarily create any particular tension.
"We theoretically know that the most stable coalitions are those formed with the lowest possible majority of votes. If some party turns out to be downright superfluous, it usually doesn't extend the life of a coalition."
Family policy was discussed at a meeting on March 10. Ansip said there was great agreement concerning the partners' aims, but the ways leading to them as well as the costs varied from party to party. "There is little certainty that our present budget permits coverage of all the wishes," Ansip said.
But Ansip added that the Reform Party would have no concessions in its main promise - lowering income tax.
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Old 03-14-2007   #29
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Default One of the freest countries on earth

A good read about Estonia.

Tiny Estonia Shines as Post-Soviet
Economic, Democratic Powerhouse
by Larry Luxner

Quote:
Washington-based Freedom House gives the Baltic nation a one out of seven—the highest possible score—in both political rights and civil liberties, noting in its Freedom in the World 2005 report that “Estonia’s civil liberties score improved from two to one due to the effective implementation of judicial reforms and greater economic freedom.”
More Here:
http://www.washdiplomat.com/March%202007/a5_03_07.html
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Old 03-16-2007   #30
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Default 228 jobs open at Estonian prisons

This is little more than a good read, but doesn't really belong in the "Jobs and Job Seekers" section.


Quote:
Estonian prisons have been suffering from chronic lack of prison guards for years. Currently, 749 guards monitor 4,200 prisoners, leaving 228 vacant positions. The Ministry of Justice attributes the deficit to poor wages, though they note, on the positive side, that newer prisons require fewer guards.

City Paper has written extensively about one of Tallinn’s prisons. Click here for one perspective: www.citypaper.ee/articles/903/
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Old 03-16-2007   #31
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Default Estonians are happy with election results

Mar 14, 2007
TBT staff

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A recent poll has reported that 70 percent of the respondents were satisfied with the results of the parliamentary elections of March 4. Nearly half of the respondents – 45 percent – support a coalition of the Reform Party, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), the Social Democrats and the Greens.
A coalition of the Reform Party and the Center Party would be supported by 36 percent, a coalition consisting of the Reform Party, IRL and the Social Democrats by 25 percent, and one of the Reform Party, IRL and the Greens by 20 percent of those interviewed.
According to a separate Faktum & Ariko poll published last week and commissioned by the daily Eesti Paevaleht, 64 percent of the respondents found that the coalition of the Reform Party, IRL and Social Democrats was the most suitable for them.
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Old 03-25-2007   #32
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Default Just Don't Drink the Water ?

Did you ever imagine a Russian Consumer Watchdog


Estonia bans marketing of Georgia’s Borzhomi mineral water

Quote:
Excessive amounts of barium metals in Georgia’s mineral water was the main reason for such a ban, the official said. The long-time usage of the water that contains this chemical element may increase risks of cardiovascular diseases. Another argument that prompted this step is the absence of Borzhomi-38 and Borzhomi-41 on the EU list of mineral waters allowed for use, which is an obligatory condition.

Estonia markets 600,000 litres of Borzhomi a year.

On March 16, Latvia banned Borzhomi from marketing, as barium metals exceeded six times the maximum permissible concentration.

The Russian consumer rights’ watchdog imposed a ban on marketing of Borzhomi last May, as it violated the effective sanitary standards. Georgia assessed this step as economic blockade.
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Old 03-26-2007   #33
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Default If you can't be Prime Minister, then City Mayor will do in Estonia !

Mar 26, 2007
Joel Alas and BNS

He shot high for the post of PM, but on national TV got his hand slapped in the cookie jar. Not exactly what he wanted as a parliamentarian, and certainly not what most people in Tallinn wanted (back again). His 2005 Mayor-like adventures did little for the capital city, but did indeed helped with his vacations.

Quote:
With the Center Party likely to be relegated to the opposition benches, party leader Edgar Savisaar appears eager to find a key position to occupy his time. He is now set to return to the post of mayor of Tallinn.

The Center Party holds outright power in the Tallinn City Government. The current mayor Juri Ratas ran as a candidate in the recent parliamentary elections and collected a large number of votes. On March 23 Ratas announced he intended to take his seat in parliament, clearing the way for the Centrists to appoint his replacement.

Savisaar, meanwhile, is unlikely to be content serving as leader of the opposition party in parliament, but has chosen to wield power in City Hall, which controls development within the capital. Savisaar said that he had promised the people of Tallinn he would serve them as mayor before the 2005 local elections.
The rest here:
http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17576/
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Old 03-28-2007   #34
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Default Three years on: the Baltic states and NATO

Mar 28, 2007
By TBT staff

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The Baltic states are preparing to mark the three year anniversary of their admission into NATO. As the day approaches, Estonia draws praise for its efforts, Latvia analyzes the impact that NATO membership has had, and Lithuania prepares to celebrate the event.

U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns expressed gratitude on Monday, March 26 for Estonia’s participation in the ongoing operations in Afghanistan. The praise came with a grain of salt, however, as the American official also used to opportunity to implore other European countries to increase their contributions to the operation.
Quote:
The agreements of the Baltic states with NATO have been an Air Policing Mission in which other European countries rotate responsibility for controlling Baltic air space, cooperation with military fleets, particularly in the field of mine clearing, and an international training of special operation units to fight terrorism. All three Baltic states lend their aid to the mission in Afghanistan.
More here
http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17582/
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Old 03-30-2007   #35
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Default Estonian President warned against an apathetic attitude toward the EU Constitutional

Mar 30, 2007
By TBT staff

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The Estonian Head of State spoke about the choices facing Europe and the present and future of the Old World. “An apathetic or outright negative attitude toward the (European Union) Constitutional Treaty forces many members of the union to search for new solutions and pushes us in the direction of a core-Europe being created,” said President Ilves. “There is no sense in thinking that the world’s most successful economic union will stop short; the question is rather whether all its members will be able to participate equally in the European Union success story, he added”
The rest of the story here:
http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17619/
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Old 03-30-2007   #36
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Default Though no whales were ever caught in Estonia, the

UK pressures Estonia to join whaling commission

http://www.citypaper.ee/paper/articles/2752/

Quote:

The UK embassy in Tallinn has been lobbying for Estonia to join the International Whaling Commission, though no whales have ever been caught in Estonia (a swordfish was caught in a net several years ago). A treaty alliance with Estonia would help the commission in its struggle against countries favoring no-limit whaling.

Ambassador Nigel Haywood, a fine fly fisherman himself, remarked that catching whales for commercial purposes might be allowed again if the country consensus shifts. According to Estonia’s Ministry of Environment, Estonia is principally against catching of whales for commercial purposes, but supports controlled and limited whaling, the objective of which is to retain traditional whaling in certain areas such as Greenland, Iceland and Norway.
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Old 04-16-2007   #37
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Default Baltic army chiefs discuss joint battalion

Apr 13, 2007
BNS

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Baltic nations may form a joint infantry battalion to send to NATO missions. A meeting of the Baltic Military Committee will see the heads of the three nations’ defense forces discuss the formation of such a battalion.

Estonia’s Maj. Gen. Ants Laaneots, Latvia’s Brig. Gen. Juris Maklakovs, and Lithuania’s Maj. Gen. Valdas Tutkus will meet at the Leigo farm in south Estonia on April 12 and 13 to discuss further cooperation between the Baltic nations.

Also slated for discussion is Baltnet, the joint airspace monitoring system, Baltron, the joint naval squadron, and Baltdefcol, the Baltic defense college.
Their previous 'BALTBAT' peace keeping Battalion was the Baltic State's first joint military effort and has successfully served along side coalition forces for 10 years.
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Old 04-18-2007   #38
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Default Estonian President regarding US Military bases and NATO

Russia's ITAR-TASS - coverage regarding Estonian President Ilves' responses to a BBC interview (very poorly translated, but that's the way I received it ).

Quote:
Turning to the question of deployment of American military bases in the Estonian territory, Ilves said that “nobody has requested so far for a permission to deploy a NATO military base” in Estonia, but “if such a request is received, this question will be debated by the Estonian parliament, and a voting will be held”.

“Estonia has already NATO bases: our country is a member of the North Atlantic alliance, and, therefore, all objects of Estonian defence forces are NATO objects,” he stated.
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Old 04-18-2007   #39
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Default Canadian diplomatic mission in Riga might be closed

http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/17681/
Apr 16, 2007
BNS

Reportedly 15,000 Estonians reside in Canada and wonder about their connections to home. The promised visa-free U.S. entry is also dwindling following the POTUS' visit in November.

Quote:
Latvia’s important diplomatic link with Canada may be dealt a blow, with plans by the conservative Canadian to cut costs by closing its embassy.

The Canadian Press news agency reported that its government was considering slashing the budget of the Foreign Affairs Department, which could lead to the closure of 19 diplomatic missions.

As well as Latvia, embassies in several Balkan, Asian and African countries might also be closed. Late last year Canada closed its consulates in St Petersburg, Milan and two in Japan.

Such an action would be a heavy blow for relations between the two countries, which have always remained close because of the large number of Latvians who reside in Canada.

Latvia’s president Vaira Vike-Freiberga was raised and educated in Canada. Canada was also the first country to ratify Latvia’s accession to NATO in 2003.
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Old 04-18-2007   #40
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It's a budget problem unfortunately. I don't think we should close our embassies, but....

Marc
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