New Year Address of the President
Dear Fellow Countrymen and -women, at least one thing has gone according to prediction this year – the 31st of December will still be the last day of the year and in the waning minutes of this day, the President has an opportunity to assess the past year and try to anticipate developments in the next one.
How parties fail in a collective identity: a guide to the Romanian parliamentary elections
Parliamentary elections are to be held in Romania on December 11th. The outcome of the popular vote is the last piece of the 2016 political puzzle, but the course of the campaign is a telling synthesis of party strategies in itself. In terms of the quality and future of democracy, Romania sends out mixed messages.
Orphaned Victory: Trump Heads to the White House
As the saying goes, victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan. In the case of Donald J. Trump’s election Tuesday as the 45th president of the United States, however, this may be simply be one (among many) aspects of conventional wisdom shattered in the past hours.
Life after spreadsheets
For the past few decades, Estonian governments have upheld the mantra of fiscal balance; that you don't play with taxes and take loans. It is possible the latter two dogmas will now change as the incoming coalition is dominated by parties who have traditionally promised their voters to concentrate on redistribution.
Center Party-Putin Deal Puts Estonia’s International Reputation at Risk
Hidden in the shadow of Tuesday’s US presidential elections and away from the gaze of international media, the opposition leaders of Estonia’s coalition government hoped to quietly pull the plug on the long standing Reform Party government.
Veronica Anghel: a directly elected president may not be the best choice of structural reform
Dear Estonia, it’s been one month since your successful presidential elections and three since your first attempt of August 29th. It was a challenge that gave you the right to voice frustration with a system that made you just as much of an observer as any foreigner.
Marcus Kolga: Betting The Farm and Transforming A Nation
Estonia’s populist media and politicians have been falling over themselves the past two weeks as they line up to take swipes at the overblown issues surrounding former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ family farm, Ärma, in southern Estonia.
Veronica Anghel: take corrupt Romanian politicians, keep the corrupt Romanian parties
Romanian politicians tend to go down with a bang. Or, more accurately, with the slam of a prison door, preferably on camera. The ethical standards to which politicians are romantically upheld are in total contrast to the displays of corruption and dishonesty to which we are daily witnesses. Add to this their hope for more likely electoral victories through false promises and indifferent speeches and it’s like asking for a shovel when you are already on the bottom of the pit… The greatest damage being done is not to themselves, but to the faith of citizens in the political party – the backbone of democratic governance. In order to restore it, both voters and politicians need to lower their expectations from this relationship.
Estonian political scientist calls election of Guterres a disappointment
The election of former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres as next secretary general of the United Nations is a disappointment, University of Tartu professor Andres Kasekamp said in his commentary to BNS.
Italian referendum, European risks
In a few months, Italian voters will be asked to endorse or sink the most ambitious constitutional reform ever attempted since the establishment of the republic in 1946. The reform affects more than one third of the 139 articles that nowadays constitute Italy’s fundamental charter. The reform proposed by the Renzi government has the main objective to make the functioning of the state institutions more agile by overcoming the current system of equal bicameralism, reduce the number of parliamentarians, cut the costs of the ineffective state machine, and increase the effectiveness of Italy’s byzantine state organization. The vote on the reform is likely to produce very visible effects both domestically and internationally.
Editorial: do kick into gear, Mr Ossinovski
The deficit in Health Insurance Fund is shocking and shows the politicians are in a bigger hurry with systemic changes than we were guessing. Also, the state budget hole is likely to be deeper than envisioned.
Editorial: the lucrative Kremlin infowars funds
Disgustingly, the NKVD and KGB way of thinking is not a thing of the past with Kremlin.
Editorial: Estonians up in arms
Estonia has above 27,000 weapons owners in possession of some 68,000 hunting, sports and self defence guns. Initial applications for permits are sharply up this year with six month figures exceeding 2012 and nearly equaling 2013 totals. The reasons vary from the EU trend towards toughening gun laws to the added sense of security.
Editorial: horse trading, cowboy style
Looks like a wild ride electing Estonia's President this time. No telling who gets tossed off the last second of rodeo...
Editorial: on Russia's August curse
The August curse is a perceived phenomenon in Russia, in which tragic events are felt to occur unusually often in the month of August. All sorts of natural and supernatural explanations have been presented for the phenomenon.
Editorial: inclination and ability
The population is aging and thus the influence of the elderly increases accordingly. Tellingly, a bank has ordered a study into their saving habits.
Editorial: will public shame save fair play?
There's the written rules and there's the cultural aspect. First of all, fair play is based on the rules of the event itself, as well as banned substance list and the various penalties for violations thereof. But without explicit condemnation of doping within the domain and in public, even the written rules may not work and the fight against doping users proves vain.
Editorial: let law reflect life
In society, proposals to alter the system of parental leave and benefits are always expected and welcome. The need is prescribed by life itself – the overall changes of work and family relations, the impact of receding stereotypes etc. While we will have to discuss what the changes will be, the ideas currently tabled are surely a step in the right direction.
Editorial: attitudes can be altered
With Estonia recently shocked by three young lives lost in a wrecked car driven by fourth youngster, we ought to think deep about the sickening speeding recorded this past weekend.
Allar Jõks: president of Estonia must be more involved with Estonia
Carrying a burden for Estonia's future as citizen and former Chancellor of Justice, Allar Jõks says life is too long to spend it bored.
Editorial: scandals come and scandals go. Ideals not so
Today, it's all eyes on Rio de Janeiro and the legendary Maracanã.
Arts Academy rector says «somebody stood in the way»
I had a nice contact with Ester Palm, owner of house next door, and after every meeting I felt we found a solution. With other neighbors we settled regarding compensation and Ester Palm was the only exception.
Editorial: let's bring violent deaths down by half
Regarding deaths by violence and accidents, Estonian statistics tell two tales. First, the shrinking numbers over these past decades are impressive. Secondly, we are still lagging behind the nations safest in Europe.
Editorial: presidential kettle near boiling point
Day by day, Estonia draws nearer to electing its new President. Sounds like the soup is getting ready to boil.
This year’s Opinion Festival in Estonia looks beyond language
This year’s Opinion Festival will host more English-language discussion forums than ever before in the event’s four-year history. This comes part and parcel with the festival’s aim to create an inclusive space for addressing some of society’s biggest issues and welcome multilingual participants and speakers from Estonia and beyond.
Editorial: Estonia, established in European Hall of Fame
For any state or union, well functioning regulations are an unquestionable foundation for success. That in 2015 Estonia stood out by lowness of infringement proceedings regarding adoption of EU directives, says a lot while mainly underlining how well we understand the importance of being in the bloc.
Editorial: Clinton v Trump
In Philadelphia yesterday, the Democratic Party ended its convention by setting up Hillary Clinton as presidential candidate. To showcase party unity, lots of top cadres supported Ms Clinton such as president Barack Obama and her primaries opponent Bernie Sanders. Somewhat surprisingly, a culmination was the emotional and mighty address by first lady Michelle Obama, historic by now no doubt.
Editorial: an embarrassingly bumpy beginning
Picture a big public procurement for purchasing computers. Initiators say that office work will reach new levels of effectiveness. Turns out, the new hardware is late but the old computers have been hauled away by other departments or outright amortized. On the morning of The Day, IT-chief stands before the staff, an old slow computer in arms, and with his voice shaky says please be strong and don't give up. Bosses higher up the ladder explain that «change always hurts», «the work will get done» and, after all, the entire situation is the fault of those who worked here before them.
Editorial: the chair challenge
Originally intended to take place at beginning of 2018, Estonia's turn at the rotating EU presidency will happen half a year earlier due to the UK exiting the bloc.
Editorial: the vociferous surrender of Superbus
«We had big plans in Estonia but regrettably we cannot carry them out,» owner of SuperBus.com trademark Bus Transport Holding OÜ announced at end of last week.
Editorial: a changed world
Recently, the phrase «the world is not what it used to be» has been well worn out. The truth being, the world is in constant change while it is the tempo that differs, and the perception of it all.
Editorial: Estonia touched by the tragedy of Nice
Of the people dead or injured after the truck attack in Nice, over half were from abroad. And for the first time, terrorism and its consequences have brought mourning and grief into families in Estonia.
Editorial: the Estonian and the Car
Debates around how to tax company cars doing private rides stirs passions and seems endless. How do we cut the red tape while arriving at some transparency? The measures being proposed make matters no better.
Editorial: a moment of truth for Erdoğan
These days, we mainly hear of military coups in African and South-Asian nations only. Therefore, the clips of shooting in central Ankara and Istanbul with tanks on streets and choppers and fighters above come across as shocking. Seeing this is a NATO member and a vital partner for the EU.
Editorial: young people must be kept far from alcohol
In the entire Western world, alcohol consumption is on the rise and doubtless this is the addictive substance most available to minors. And the current generations are earlier starters with the habit.
Veronica Anghel: the worth of a NATO Eastern Flank Working Group
The true value of binding agreements lies in their implementation. The willingness and attention with which a contract is negotiated is an indicator of the document’s ceremonial or substantial value. And then, the functioning mechanisms set up to implement these agreements make or break its success.
Editorial: ethnic segregation. A worry for some while aimed at by othes
As shown by a scientific article published in Demographic Research, ethnic segregation by physical space is deepening in Estonia. Something to be vigilant about to avoid future difficulties.
Editorial: MEPs meet a Hitler in Syria to shake hands
According to former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, shaking hands with the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad is like shaking hands with Adolf Hitler.
Editorial: town flooded within minutes. Unavoidable, and to be repeated?
Let's face the facts. Doubtless, it was raining cats and dogs, yesterday. Equally true, however, the inability of municipal agencies to avoid the repeated flooding or at least to seriously alleviate the consequences.
Editorial: driving tests driven off country roads
By the time the Republic turns 100 years old, Road Administration is intent to do driving tests in the toughness of city streets only.
Entrepreneurs unsupportive of proposal by Vähi
Responding to call by former prime minister Tiit Vähi to improve (business) relations with Russia, entrepreneurs showed understanding while, unlike the Poet of Sillamäe owner, they support troops of NATO in Estonia.
Editorial: don't sell security for pottage of lentiles
The closer the NATO summit in Warsaw, the more abundant the Kremlin propaganda and – somewhat surprisingly – the repeating of like messages by our own people. Such are not many, however, as seen in answers by entrepreneurs interviewed in Postimees today.
Tiit Vähi: anti-Russia torch of war damaging to business
Estonia ought to alter current course and support removal of anti-Russia economic sanctions imposed after annexation of Crimea says former prime minister turned transit businessman Tiit Vähi.
Editorial: Finns sitting on a fence
Horrified, the Finnish reporters sat in silence. A Sauli Niinistö fidgeted, all nervous. For Vladimir Putin, this seemed not enough and he decided to quote a friend in Finland who once said that NATO was willing to fight Russia till the last Finn. Mr Putin asked: «Is that what you want?» And added: «We don´t need it.» The words were hardly soothing to anyone present.
Editorial: the evasiveness of stepping down
A politician found guilty of offence related to office ought not to keep his post like nothing happened. Even so, the next convicted Centre cadre and city district elder Alar Nääme «sees no need for stepping down.»
Editorial: terrorism – the gangrene of our times
Among the largest in the world, the Istanbul Atatürk airport sees tens of millions of passengers flow thru in any year. Right there is housed the headquarters of Turkish Airlines, fourth largest carrier on the planet. Resulting from a terrorist attack in the airport on July 28th, up to 50 are dead by today with hundreds wounded.
Editorial: midgets (like Iceland) may mow down giants
Always, the stories of little ones overcoming the big have fascinated mankind. Like the tiny Iceland beating big England. How on earth can that be?! We Estonia being four times their size... could we repeat that?
Eerik-Niiles Kross: Brexit significantly worsens security situation
Short-term, Brexit will surely and significantly worsen the security situation; possibly, the long-term security situation will deteriorate in all of Northern Europe, writes Riigikogu member Eerik-Niiles Kross (Reform Party).
Raul Rebane: the three Brexit benefits for Estonia
It's not all bad with Brexit. With things as vast as this, there just has to be the sunny side as well. Even for Estonia, it contains some valuable lessons, writes PR-expert Raul Rebane.
Editorial: keep it cool, Brexit or not
In the increasing confusion following the Brexit referendum, the dust of the explosion will take it's time settling. Thus far, not really clear if the UK is indeed exiting though the narrow result would indeed dictate that.
Parties not overly worried about getting old
Talking to Postimees, cadres of three parties see average member age rising as a problem not too dangerous.
Editorial: hiring people with reduced work capacity is step in right direction
Unavoidably, Estonia's working age population is graying and shrinking. Some predictions say we will have a whopping 160,000 people less on labour market in just one generation.
Editorial: let there be truth with mercy
This is no theatre – as assured us by prosecutor and victim beaten by Tiit Ojasoo in her public appeal. Here, we need to realise that on top of the totally condemnable violence, we have flesh and blood people with their feelings and future.
Editorial: 75 years since the initial deportations
In the Russian language sphere people sometimes say they wish the others would «get Stalin.» Always, it is for the others, for who would want to have his live valued as nothing.
Editorial: Akela errs
In the «Jungle Book» by Rudyard Kipling, we remember reading how head of the wolf pack Akela let a prey slip while hunting. He was old, and not as good as he once was. The word spread and foes seized their chance. As Mr Kipling personally put it: «Once the head of the pack begins to err, they will be calling him a «dead wolf» no matter that he's still alive, as he hasn't got long to live.»
Editorial: can we win the war of the can?
To the headache of Estonian packaging system, beer bottles purchased in Latvia and emptied in Estonia can be returned for money that the buyer never paid.
Merit Kopli: I like it difficult
Today's the final working day for editor-in-chief of Postimees and COE of Postimees Group Merit Koplil (47). Eleven years at helm of Estonia's biggest daily is but one year less than her four predecessors – all male – put together. Educated as German philologist, in two months she will be heading to Germany to work as Estonia's cultural attache, tasked with introducing the Estonian culture and enhance the export of it.
Editorial: the true essence of the Mihkel Raud flop
To the surprise of many, musician and TV host Mihkel Raud (Soc Dems) walked out of Riigikogu citing failure as politician.
Editorial: a step taken, a long way to go
In certain situations, try as you may to swim against the stream, it carries you along. Better to get smart along the way.
Cracked and Rusted Unity getting a new paint job
2016 hasn’t been kind for one of the leading government parties in Latvia - Unity who. is now becoming a metaphor for shooting oneself in the foot. The party in less than one year has lost support, lost one seat in government, lost prime minister chair and the trust of people who voted for Unity in 2014.
Aegean Sea stirs storms between neighbouring Greece and Turkey
Since the 1970’s Greece and Turkey faced quite a few bilateral crises which in many cases brought the two countries on the brink of serious accidents or even conflict.
Editorial: the not-too-maverick «grand jury»
In mid 19th century, the reformist Russian Czar Alexsander II tried to impose upon the nation and Anglo-American type of grand jury. Back then, this was considered an ideal organisation of court in many countries.
Editorial: the ominous okay to pay in envelope
Should shadow economy grow (including the envelope wages) we'd take a step away from the Nordics with which we have gotten used to comparing ourselves.
Editorial: the modern face of slavery
Nowadays, the word «slavery» is rather related to the dark times of the past when people had legal rights over others and lawfully owned the slaves.
Editorial: presidential elections headed towards round two
The two news yesterday have significantly altered the picture regarding upcoming presidential elections.
No toys for traitors
«So [the president] will take all the toys away from you. You will go home, and he will govern Poland on his own! Mister president gives you a chance to work a consensus out. You should be thankful to president» – Krzysztof Szczerski, minister in the president’s office, told representatives of parliamentary parties during a talk show in Radio Zet.
Editorial: the importance of a clear message
The closer we are drawing to the Warsaw summit of NATO on July 8-9, the louder and sharper is Russia in its statements, obviously intending to sow discord and create anxiety in the West. Meanwhile, to ensure security, the very unity and steadfastness is our key.
Editorial: errare humanum EST
To boost the Estonian PR-endeavour, a friend from Holland called Peter Kentie has tabled a simple, playful and likable though not totally new idea. In just one day, it gained both fans and foes. The latter being greatly outnumbered.
Will brand concept by Dutchman fly? See comments
Editorial: a late birthday gift to Savchenko
On May 11th, Nadezhda Savchenko turned 35. Today, she got the best birthday present a political prisoner could ever wish for - her freedom.
Stage builder: absolute anarchy allowed
The total lack of rules in Estonia allows any ignoramus to be in the business of creating contraptions as platforms for public events, says Event Center project manager Margus Jaago operating here and in Finland.
It’s the Black Sea, «stupid»!
There is a joke about an American Republican in Russia. He says: «When I lived in the US, I thought President Obama was incompetent, weak on Russia. Now I watch Russian TV and it turns out that he is an anti-Russian strategic genius with universal influence.»
Editorial: the political component and economic reckoning
Doubtless, state enterprise management and related decisions always come with both economic and political components. If the purely political becomes too much, the resulting imbalance is bad for society, and at times for the decision makers themselves. Seeing that, as a rule, state controls strategic companies directly of indirectly determining functioning and welfare of the state.
Editorial: Ida-Viru County needs a vision for the future
Ida-Virumaa and its largest city Narva of nearly 60,000 inhabitants has been rather prominent in local and international media these past few years. predominantly, this has been because of the 2014 events in Ukraine: many a Western journalist has been seeking for another Donbas and Crimea both in Narva and the Latvian region of Latgale. Even so, the Daugavpils and Narva reality has proven otherwise, and one may understand the displeasure in locals regarding such focus.
Editorial: the simple complex stuff
Alter a part of it, and any social system changes. The shrinking and ageing rural population, the urbanisation, and the related need to tweak the infrastructure does pose serious everyday issues. At times, for the decision makers these may seem so simple as to deserve no attention...
Editorial: favour not private schools at taxpayer's expense
Long has been the debate in society regarding private school financing. It’s not a matter if these are good or bad.
Editorial: don't pay the ferryman until he gets you to the other side ...
...And then the ferryman said,There is trouble ahead, So you must pay me now (don't do it), You must pay me now (don't do it), And still that voice came from beyond, Whatever you do, Don't pay the ferryman, Don't even fix a price, Don't pay the ferryman, Until he gets you to the other side. -Chris de Burgh
Editorial: we're all from the Piirissaar Island
As we know, the chain is a strong as its weakest link. As state, Estonia is so tiny that occasionally we forget we are in turn composed of particles we may care for and thus show our largeness of heart and spirit.
Editorial: hopes high for Tallinn's new high street
The Tallinn Main Street design contest winner hath been declared. A remarkable event as, in three years hopefully, the fresh concept will altogether alter the face and ways of Estonia's capital.
Lithuania's Linkevičius says Estonia better run for UN Security Council
A member of UN Security Council two years back, Lithuania paid next to nothing for its campaign to get there, claims foreign minister Linas Linkevičius as interviewed by Postimees.
Editorial: a goal from the blessed past
Does it make sense for Estonia to toil to get its temporary seat at UN Security Council? Depends on the role we attribute to UN and its security council in the world today. And, secondly, on ability to task Estonian foreign services with what fits the present reality and our own particular interests.
Dancing with Russia on the avalanche edge
Soviet soldiers are getting their biggest statue as liberators in Slovenia this summer. It will be unveiled by Vladimir Putin himself in July. Outsiders must be shocked by the event that will take place in the heart of NATO and EU. But actually it is just the climax of long walk on the very top of the snowy mountains. Walk that gives you best views but can also result in the longest fall. The secret traps of avalanches could be triggered by one wrong footstep or even just wrong sound.
Editorial: the Russian gas gun
During the reign of Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has used state gas monopoly Gazprom as foreign policy tool to retain influence over neighbours. Since the Ukraine-Russia gas fights in mid-2000ies, energy security and reducing dependency on Russian gas, currently about quarter of gas consumed in Europe, has continually been on European agenda.
Editorial: pure art and political martyrdom
A matter of taste, they say, while arguing the line where art ends and personal insults, even crimes begin. Meanwhile, any such debate end up with basic rights and freedoms.
Editorial: one small step for an officer, one giant leap for the society
A Defence League officer refusing a bribe, though small, sends a strong message.
The last country
Romania is politically detoxifying. The diet is a «play by ear», without a set of rules, administered by disunited «technicians» and «doctors» on a clear concept for the cure.
Editorial: growing up or throwing up?
So they are trying to warm up that old sandwich of people in the parliament allowed to sit at local councils... Possibly biting off more than we are willing to chew.
To Bremain or to Brexit - An Irish Perspective
It is not simply a question that the British people are being requested to vote on, but, rather a collection of ideals. A European ideal that is based upon the pillars of inclusive democracy, human rights and a social compact. However, what they are voting upon is based upon a different perception and understanding of such.
Editorial: clamant community confronts closed council
Karula. A picturesque place near Valga. A rare parish in Estonia where population just keeps growing.
Editorial: game of drones in sky, media, and minds
No surprise that Russia wants to affect us. What matters most is reaction in the society.
Editorial: we know how much they make
Thankfully, for third year now we may all see the state and local leaders salaries on finance ministry website. A list of some 20,000 names.
Editorial: the outcome of Russia's crazy game
Referring to US deputy defence secretary Robert Work, The Wall Street Journal wrote on April 29th that in response to Russian aggressiveness NATO would boost its presence in Baltics and Poland by four battalions i.e. a contingent of 4,000 men. This still is too little when compared to Russian western military district of up to 350,000 men or the close to 100,000 of troops who have in recent years participated in exercises on Russia's western edge. Much more important, however, is the message therewith sent to Kremlin.
New President smells like Reform or Centre
At presidential elections, EKRE has no advantage in potential post-Riigikogu run and instead of Reform, Centre's «Western wing» plays main role in sifting out the President, suggests a leading Reform cadre Kristen Michal.
Editorial: rules are not for breaking
Yesterday, Postimees wrote about potential danger posed by new buildings being erected using flawed material. At the moment, we have two schoolhouses, an apartment house, and two office buildings under construction featuring defective blocks.
The 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit: Poland’s hopes, or wishful thinking
When during the 2014 Newport Summit NATO’s decision-makers pointed at Warsaw as a destination for the next big gathering, it clearly confirmed the direction of NATO’s developments. The decision gave hope for bigger presence or even permanent bases of NATO on Polish soil. With political changes and difficult to understand moves of the new government in Warsaw, Polish voice at the Summit might lose its strength, and hopes might turn into wishful thinking.
Editorial: the police and budget of an ageing nation
For years, police and border guard have been under severe austerity. At some point homeland security may begin to go downhill, we are warned by Auditor General, police chief and a chancellor at interior ministry in Postimees today. Further belt tightening is out of the question.
What do the Dutch have against Ukraine?
When I was asked to explain ‘what the Dutch have against Ukraine’ to an Estonian public, I initially wondered whether this is the right question to ask. On 6 April the Dutch voted against the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, but the turnout was only 32 percent. One could perhaps ask why the Dutch do not care about Ukraine. On the other hand, I know many people who are in favour of the agreement, but stayed at home. They either oppose referenda on principled grounds, or feel uncomfortable with the way this referendum came about. To make the question even more complicated, some leaders of the no-camp claim that they act in the best interest of both Dutch and Ukrainian ordinary citizens.
Editorial: a municipal Bollywood
In a few cases such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Reagan, actors have turned politicians. The other way round it is rare though Margaret Thatcher did it, playing herself in a sketch she wrote for «Yes Minister» ...
Editorial: traces of the fear of Chernobyl
At Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden on April 28, radioactive particles were detected on clothing worn by staff. The Swedes went on a search where these were from. Thirty years back, this was the initial hint to the free world about a severe nuclear disaster in Western part of the Soviet Union with contaminated clouds spreading across Europe.
At present, words of the cultured carry no such weight as at end of 1980ies, observes folklorist and former first lady Ingrid Rüütel (EKRE) while admitting Estonia could never solve the problems of the nations of the world. Even so, Estonia might play a part in international cooperation provided we feature wise, experienced and balanced politicians.
Editorial: European unity needed to solve migration crisis
At the moment, the European Union is faced with largest migration of nations since end of WW2. People are coming from various parts of the world and for various reasons.
Editorial: a real reform? Really?
In Estonia, the public is rather accustomed to reforms for outward show while serious political decisions are avoided. The more remarkable that the state enterprises ownership policy overhaul, though rather generally described in coalition treaty, has in a year developed some content and by what is known looks rather credible and prudent.
Editorial: the golden Reform apple
This present presidential elections year in Estonia has gotten off to a rather slothful start. With three months to go till head of state ought to be elected in Riigikogu, just one name has publicly been put forth. His own, by Reform Party founder and former prime minister Siim Kallas.
Ansip: Reform Party cannot take all key positions
Let's forget the in-party howling, let's listen to all other parties and try to find the President right in the Riigikogu, dreams former prime minister and long-term Reform head, now vice president at European Commission Andrus Ansip.
Editorial: from acknowledging the weaknesses to credible deterrence
With Russia aggressively involved in Northern Caucasus and Eastern Ukraine these past few years as well as increasingly testing the local borders, Estonian and Baltic worries for security are understood. The greater the need for collection of information and analysis for prudent conclusions.
Editorial: the inequality commissioner
Backscratching. In one form or another, it does exist in all of today's societies, West included. Even so, there is this overall consensus in the West that ethically and morally nepotism is to be deplored in governmental structures and at posts requiring creativity and high qualification. In numerous countries, preferring friends and relatives is forbidden by law and earnestly fought against. In Poland, for instance, all civil servants are required to notify their employer who of their relatives are in business. If they do not, fines or sacking may follow.
Editorial: what sort of a president would be good for Estonia?
Today, Estonia gets itself a new president. The Estonian Olympic Committee president.
Editorial: spotlight kills fines bill
Had Postimees not shined spotlight on the doubling-of-fines issue a few weeks ago just before they had planned the final vote, in all likelihood we'd already be paying 'em.
Unconventional warfare expert: Europe must prepare for the worst
When fighting ISIS, it is paramount to counteract their recruiting activities in Europe and this is best done by European Muslims themselves says Estonian Defence Forces Major Margus Kuul with Master's from US Naval Postgraduate School in defence analysis and irregular warfare.
Editorial: Croesus coming back
In 6th century BC, Croesus the king over Lydia located where we now have Turkey minted the initial coins from precious metals and sent these into regulated use. A pioneer. Also a pioneering endeavour has been the e-money named Bitcoin abundantly use to lure and to scare, and a subject of deep discussions as well as incomprehension. No revolution created in world finances, though, while the so-called cryptocurrency definitely plays a part in economy.
Did war burst its boundaries?
When in Washington D.C. one often takes a tour of the city’s monuments. On a recent trip, I was told it takes a long time until the municipality decides on where and how a memorial is built.
Editorial: the ugliness of fighting a mother of toddler
The battle launched by Tallinn city government against a mother of child aged 1.5 is altogether amoral by nature. Especially by keeping the law given to protect mothers expectant and with small children, any branch of public administration must set an example to the rest of employers.
Editorial: fidgeting in comfort zone
This week, this Taavi Rõivas government turns one year old. The Reform, Soc Dems and IRL coalition has cruised like circus bus – one engine, many drivers, the engine tweaked while in gear plus body work applied. The passengers i.e. people don't trust them too much… And yet it moves. And it does go a little further from point A – not necessarily to point B though.
Rõivas to critics: while you talk we work
Within first year while in coalition with Soc Dems and IRL, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) has managed to send administrative reform into parliament, tidy the eastern border and bring in seven refugees. Therefore, he dares say he's at helm of a government of great decisions and ambitious above average.
Editorial: OECD strikes chord in Estonian educational debate
Estonia would do well to heed the advice by OECD as touching issues debated and carrying a broader weight in society with regards to principles and even the future.
Editorial: penalties no panacea
These past years, Estonia has been shaken by tragic traffic accidents with casualties and caused by drunken drivers. Thankfully, over a decade the yearly death toll is down from 81 in 2007 to 14 last year. And yet, many may have been avoided.
Editorial: the biggest elite-leak in history
Already, the Panama info leak is shaking corridors of power in many a nation while what is yet to be published is robbing sleep from leaders who have directly or indirectly done business with the tax haven service provider Mossack Fonseca.
Editorial: enraging equivocating engulfing education
As Private Schools Act amendment draft act reached Riigikogu last November, Postimees expressed hopes the costs debate would not descend into labeling and personal insults. Alas, not happening.
Editorial: the emergency «pain in the neck»
How numerous the admonitions even by Postimees, over the years: why go bother emergency docs with your sore throat? And yet, about half of those who demand the immediate kind of care could honestly do without.
Editorial: conflict v compromise
To a degree, stiffness and «my way» is turning into a stumbling stone for a key figure in current governing coalition, health and labour minister Jevgeni Ossinovski. After rising to lead Soc Dems in May 2015, he was expected to do a kind of restart and raise the party's popularity and profile by bringing it out of the shadows of partners.
Editorial: the late presidential race start gun (1)
These past months, Estonian media has been prolific about US presidential elections while almost forgetting we will elect our own this very year as the second term of Toomas Hendrik Ilves expires on October 11th.
Might Estonia spawn its own homespun Donald Trump?
Estonian experts don't think a local campaign could get as ugly and insulting as Donald Trump is engine for right now in the US. Meanwhile, similar traits arising is an option.
Security police head says safety is nothing absolute
As assured by Security Police chief Arnold Sinisalu, there is no need to be overly worried about terror attacks in Estonia at the moment. Neither is there any need to fear the threat arising with newly arriving migrants, there being no proof of radicals having entered thru such channel.
Editorial: Europe is in war
In the war increasingly at hand, what we obviously need is unified European action into which Estonia will need to invest with ideas as well as deeds.
Jaak Jõerüüt: listen to your heart!
Titled Postimees Opinion Leader of the Year, writer and columnist Jaak Jõerüüt finds it vital for people to notice and appreciate Estonian analytical written word.
Editorial: politician's hands
1948 saw premiere of play by Jean-Paul Sartre named «Dirty Hands», political drama played out in a fictitious Balkan state during WW2. A key hero is communist leader Hoederer who opts to cooperate with foes in order to secure his party a place in the government.
Editorial: migrants on Estonia-Russia border?
May Russia direct to Estonian border the asylum seekers flow halted at Norwegian and Finnish borders by high level agreements? The honest answer is yes. True, the option is still hypothetical. The other issue being: how, in that case, would Estonian institutions and society react?
Editorial: there's no place like home
There are over 30 children's homes in Estonia with some thousand kid in them. For various reasons. Often, it's the only alternative as drugs and alcohol have possessed the parents.
Jüri Luik: Lennart Meri's legacy
Lennart Meri as President is beginning to fade. Meanwhile, a man like him would be badly needed in Estonia and Europe alike in these days of the refugee drama, writes diplomat Jüri Luik on the tenth death anniversary of our great statesman.
Editorial: the Centre values divide
In Estonian politics, Centre doubtless is a heavyweight. The party most popular, the major force in opposition – on state level. Meanwhile, its current regional elections may prove vital in view of upcoming Presidential elections this August and definitely the local elections in October 2017.
Editorial: fighting? Seek to agree
The truck transport tussle is worthy or broader public attention. The law says carriers adhere not to rules. Truckers smell persecution. Feels like the nation needs to interfere.
Editorial: how to restore sense of security in society?
Last week, Estonia was in shock by the brutal beating in Tartu of a father under the very eyes of his small son, having reprimanded young guys for kicking over a trash can. By today, we know of the lengthy punishment register of the offenders.
Editorial: PHOSPHORITE NO GOOD FOR BREAD
It's 30 years soon from the phosphorite war battles. The people rose up against plans to mine for phosphate rock in Virumaa. Scientists said it may have had destructive effects on environment and, due to influx of Russian-speaking foreign labour force, to the population structure. Not comparable to the War of Independence, the action did boost the national feelings with winds of perestroika glasnost helping along, thus culminating in the Singing Revolution and regained independence.
Editorial: baddies seeking to serve Odin
We don't want the thieves, the robbers and the violent to keep order in our streets, do we?
Editorial: Europe's last chance
A EU summit in Brussels today bring together heads of states and governments with Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to discuss taming of the migration crisis. On Friday, Donald Tusk charged with chairing the summits told those participating: «We are closing the route across Western Balkans, the main route through which 880,000 migrants flowed into the European Union last year, and 128,000 during the first months of 2016.»
Tiit Kuuli: state's best security guarantee is economic wellbeing
During his long career, construction company Oma Ehitaja chairman Tiit Kuuli has not been in media too often but now the post presents a responsibility. He remains modest however and says that in a representative body with 15 professional associations and 15 top managers featured, the role of an individual must not be exaggerated.
Editorial: the state reform ice is moving
Originating from Latin, «reform» means «change». Why are reforms needed? Firstly, to make something more effective incl cost-effective. As once quipped by former Russian deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov: «Reforms begin where money ends.»
Editorial: let's teach all kids to really swim
For the new plan to teach all children in Estonia to swim, money should definitely be found. While even now a basic course is featured in schools, not all acquire the skill due to shortage of training hours. And some schools have gone without. In every way it is laudable that the problem is tackled in earnest.
Editorial: careless care
One day it may happen. When it turns out a loved one needs constant care and support due to age or severe illness. Such is increasingly the case thus forcing us to take an ever more serious look at aging with dignity.
Editorial: No end in sight with war in Syria. Relief, if lucky
As Syrian ceasefire was signed, journalists cited anonymous political sources as stating the treaty was not worth the paper it was written on. Takes optimism and lively fantasy to imagine that end is in sight for the war of five years. But there may be some relief.
Editorial: the tongue-tied condition politically permanent
In any corner of Estonia, everyday affairs are to be possible in Estonian. The requirement regards all state and local government agencies and departments. Also, national language must be available at private service sphere. For that, the state must provide support. Even so, playing around with requirements sends wrong signals, breeds misunderstanding and conflicts due to ignorance.
Editorial: Estonians choose freedom
Yesterday, Republic of Estonia celebrated its 98th anniversary. Quite an age, while we will have to admit that though old in a sense we're still rather young as of the 98 years we have managed to be free for less than a half. As penned by a Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev: slavery is easy and freedom is hard, and for that very reason nations often opt for the former. Even so, in the 20th century Estonians did twice clearly declare that they desire to be free and it is vital in the future to stay true to that choice.
Editorial: Long live Estonia, land for the free
Indeed, what tougher moment to strive towards liberty than having shaken the rioting bolsheviks just to get occupied by Germans. And yet, ninety eight years ago tomorrow, what rang out was «Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia».
Editorial: statemanship v cheap points hunt
Assessing the legislation, we paint quite a good picture of responsibility shown at Toompea. Five years ago, Estonian Service Industry Association initiated its best/worst law competition doing a decent job reflecting the words/deeds balance in our politicians. Wanting to get something done in earnest v pure populism.
Editorial: don't throw the good goals out with the cheats
Turns out, 22 foreign students have falsified up-to-now education documents to enroll in Estonia's universities. Before getting too mad, think of the following.
Editorial: children playing
Some two dozen minors got caught in a Rapla County birthday party by police, drunk. Turned out afterwards, drugs were involved. As one developed alcohol poisoning, they hauled her to the highway side so arrival of ambulance would not spoil the fun. The kids were taken to police station to be fetched by parents.
Editorial: the art of reading reports restfully
Of the report of the US think-tank Rand Corporation the slogan-like idea stood out that Russia may take Baltics by blitzkrieg if it so desires. Let such reports be read with an attitude of rest, though – carefully and thoughtfully while not overly dramatizing the details regarding conclusions drawn.
Editorial: the Middle-Eastern «gunpowder keg»
At the beginning of 20th century, interests of then major European nations collided in the Balkans to the degree that the region began to be referred to as a «gunpowder keg». In 1914, it exploded to trigger WW1. Disturbingly, the Middle-East of 21st century resembles another «gunpowder keg» where interests of the West, Russia, the Arab states, Israel, Iran and Turkey clash.
Editorial: it always hurts to not be needed
Layoffs are never pain free. Not even when realizing the forced situation of the employer. Not even when the labour market situation points to other options. With dozens and hundreds getting the notice at one sweep, the public rightfully asks why. Whoever works in a related field, will naturally be asking some questions...
Editorial: Uber kaput?
These days, taxi app gets you an available driver in the blink of an eye. Basically, the technological solutions have triggered a taxi revolution especially embodied by the Uber-like drive sharing solutions. Anybody could do taxi now.
Address by those closest to deceased woman with child
Relatives of the deceased woman and child forwarded complaints towards hospital and emergency medical care to Estonian TV's «Eyewitness» accusing the medical workers in lack of concern and compassion. Underneath, read parts of the address:
Editorial: the prescious bits of information
Central in the world today is the aspect of security, amid the rapidly developing technology.
Address by Ambassadors of Finland, USA and UK: Estonia must get serious about its HIV epidemic
Today, Ambassadors of the Uninet Kingdon, the United States of America and Finland filed an address to Constitutional Committee of the Parliament of Estonia wherein they call upon Estonia to at long last acknowledge the spread of the HIV epidemic and to create a select committee dedicated to solving the problem.
Editorial: pay the alimony or else…
For years on end we have been talking about the thousands of men and women failing to support their children. Meanwhile, even the people well of yet opting to let their children go without got off the hook easy.
Editorial: a safer life
Yesterday, justice ministry released crime statistics regarding 2015 revealing a decline in crimes committed in Estonia. At that, it is somewhat deceptive with some indicators as 2015 saw the distinction between misdemeanor and crime from €64 to €200. Thus, they registered 32,500 crimes in Estonia in 2015 which is by nearly 5,000 less year-on-year. The decrease is largely due to the altered standards.
Editorial: «no» means «no» – still all do not understand
Ideally, none should encounter sexual abuse. Alas, the Tartu University study shows totally otherwise as every tenth young person has been sexually abused including five percent forced into intercourse.
Editorial: a new commentarium for free and civil discussion
Starting today, anonymous comments are no longer an option in Postimees. As before, all are welcome to keep on commenting but from now on as registered and identified users.
Coalition divorcing over partnership?
By yesterday, seven IRL parliamentarians were poised to vote for registered partnership act implementation provisions to pass. Nevertheless, in their struggle for points scored in eyes of electorate the parties managed to get entangled in a fresh mess.
Editorial: power struggle under gay couples cover
Turns out, they may actually split the government, and that formally because of the registered partnership act implementation provisions. In the tussle, good will by soc dems is just nowhere to be seen. And the other two seem to be lacking any trace of trust.
Editorial: see, I'm a scientist
With science ethics, it's more than written rules or administrative guidelines. More than that, it's about moral principles. Though unwritten, they're vital just the same so as to ensure the functioning of science.
Editorial: the Mt Power mess
Looks like quite a mess this week in Riigikogu as Registered Partnership Act implementation provisions are again to be tackled. Would be fun to watch if it were not such a spectacle.
Editorial: the regugee quota system does not work
Big words, small numbers – to sum of the relocation from Southern Europe. Having offered documents of eight (!) by Italy, Estonia has rejected five as the papers were faulty.
Editorial: trees to power no bad idea
It makes sense to create options for burning wood in Eesti Energia power stations as helping achieve long-term renewable energy aims, maintain Estonia's energy security, create new jobs in forestry, increase exports etc.
Member of the Riigikogu and chairman of select anti-corruption committee Artur Talvik accuses Police and Border Guard Board head Elmar Vaher in misuse of public money. Mr Talvik has filed interpellation to interior minister and demands that Mr Vaher be removed from office. Mr Vaher offered explanations and apologised while stating he was not stepping down seeing no need.
Editorial: Estonians the conflict solvers
UN peacekeepers were taken to Southern Lebanon in 1978 to help the central government gain control over the region. Initially the security council gave its mandate for half a year. Till today, the mission keeps going in the restless region.
Editorial: a world with two million Estonians
Understandably, we are upset when grand strategic goals are not worded. On the other hand, it is almost always easy to ridicule the lofty ambitions while the ranks of the scorners often include the very ones who formerly bemoaned the absence of big ideas.
Political review: Patria 2.0
At party vision conference this past Saturday, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) chairman Margus Tsahkna held a speech on how Estonia and IRL are supposed to move forward.
Editorial: the next pudding to be proven in the eating
The Riigikogu hath decided: at next local elections in fall of 2017, the youth aged 16 and 17 may cast their votes as well. Up to now, the level was 18 and up. A remarkable change which may make the society stronger by the added votes while overall political environment and culture are key factors.
Editorial: sick leave – fight for freedom, cut it not
How do we arrange it so that days spent sick will spell as little loss to people and the economy? A think-thank thinks to know.
Editorial: Ilves gets hands dirty
During his time in office, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves has not been overly eager to invade into domestic policy. Primarily, he's been at his functions in English and in issues more global. Doubtless, he's excelled at that. Meanwhile, there's situations where a feistier touch at home might have come in handy. Instead of viewing it as backwaters as some have critically ventured to claim.
Editorial: how much more left to live as inmates in India?
After over two long years in India, the five year prison sentence was bad news for ship guards and loved ones. And to all of us hoping for the best.
Editorial: with NATO, or without?
These past years, Russia has not shown itself the trustworthiest of neighbours. As a result, the nations near it are seeking additional guarantees of security.
Editorial: the Estonian arms countdown
Interior ministry is circulating a Weapons Act amendment among other things intended to limit self protection guns owned by individuals.
Editorial: the eternal number two
In his book «How Life Imitates Chess», former world champion takes a look at current events via games played. An exception among the famed and charismatic companions, Paul Keres of Estonia features as one to never have taken the title.
Editorial: playing on parental nerves
Unbelievable but true: results of ministerial regulation prepared for three years hit parents like bolt from the blue. Month-on-month, price for rental of technical aids shot thru the ceiling.
Editorial: no need to panic, no cause to frolic
At change of year, we look back and we look ahead. As shown by the traditional Postimees prediction by economists and an overview of 2015, we have no need for panic while a basis to euphoria is absent as well.
Editorial: let's live with no fear
Often, a year has been likened to a book of 365 pages and to be filled by us ourselves. Today, we are at final page of one, to start 2016 off as blank sheets.
Editorial: the importance of landing softly
The so-called golden handshakes and soft landings for long serving (executive) employees are often depicted in a negative context. Actually, what such customs or unwritten rules in working relationships really show is maturity of an organisation. In the sense of organisational culture, holding veteran employees in honour reflects values which are desired to be shown to those on the outside. Such organisations show themselves to be strong. Exactly the same goes for the state and the employer.
Editorial: Estonians. Pro-Europe, but troubled
Are the people in Estonia pleased with the EU? On the one hand, the satisfaction with belonging is still high and our folks feel Europeans, EU citizens. On the other hand, they are worried about what's happening in Europe, especially with what isn't immediately seen in Estonia (immigration crisis, terrorism, the debt crisis of member states) and those who don't think EU image is positive are far more numerous than in spring.
Editorial: a welcome solstice
Whatever the attitude, be it sacred, commercial, joyous, sad or indifferent, Christmas does touch all.
Editorial: entering a cheap oil era?
Editorial: what kind of a President do we want?
For Estonia, presidential elections is obviously a marker in next year's political calendar. Even so, the only thing we know for certain is it will not be Toomas Hendrik Ilves wishing us a happy new year next year – constitutionally, third term is out.
Editorial: the Kremlin TV show
In an interview to Postimees in November, a leading Russian media expert Valeri Solovei said he had no idea when the state propaganda effect would weaken on Russia's society but he guessed there would be a glitch in the system someday. Looks like this is troubling the very leaders in Russia in these days of dark clouds gathering on home turf. The grumbling is growing louder. Increasingly, protest actions pop up in various corners of Russia.
Editorial: the three-prime-minister nation
«Whenever companions don’t agree, they work without accord; and naught but trouble doth result, although they all work hard.» Observe the Estonian governmental version of Crawfish, the Pike, and the Swan by Ivan Krylov.
Editorial: do not judge vaccination according to rumours
That a midwife happened to be among those infected by measles who afterwards came in contact with a total of about 40 colleagues and patients is bad coincidence indeed. Imagine the worries and tensions in the expecting mothers now called in to be examined. We wish them that all be well and result to analysis be swift in coming.
Editorial: the historical climate accord message
The agreement is born. Though worn out, the expression «historical achievement» is surely the phrase to be used regarding the document signed in France by 196 nations. After the various failures, French diplomatic skills have yielded a globally binding agreement aimed at mitigating climate change impact via CO2 curbs.
Editorial: the wrong end to start a reform
State reform planned by government includes lay-off of 3,500 of public cadre by 2019. The main blow hits social ministry. While the promise is not to thin ranks of such as offer social and health care services, support staff in regional hospitals is faced with cuts. Among others things, the state wants Tartu University Hospital to send 85 people packing and outsource part of the work.
Editorial: at rest. At home
«My father’s land, my dearest love, I’ll never thee forsake, And should I die a thousand deaths, That penalty I’ll take! Let jealous strangers say their part, They’ll never tear thee from my heart, My father’s land!» as goes a best known poem known and sung in Estonia, by Lydia Koidula, to then state the solemn desire to «lay to rest here in thy bosom, my sacred land Estonia!»
Editorial: the EU must show confidence
There is no possibility of a longer debate to be held over permanent mechanism of relocation of refugees. It is highly unlikely that pivotal decisions will be made regarding the single Schengen visa space. Both are statements by Estonian interior minister Hanno Pevkur. Politically cautious, somewhat in officialese, and therefore a rather European declaration on extremely vital topics ahead of today's meeting of EU interior ministers.
Editorial: the rural Estonian swimming pool boom
Alas, European money alone will not make the Estonian regions equally prosperous. As shown by a Praxis study, the funds have found a use rather self-centered and driven by narrow-minded local interests.
Editorial: a ranting Savisaar untoppled
In Centre Party, changes can happen. But not the kind that Kadri Simson stood for, in light of yesterday. Having hear what Edgar Savisaar had to say, harder still for other parties to imagine a coalition with Centre.
In Ukraine, society outperforms state
Inconsistent and unsystematic approach wherefore the society fails to function, sounds the straightforward verdict on Ukrainian development by double Olympic bronze medalist Jüri Tamm in his Kiev office. With compassion, though, as the man is a great patriot of the renewed Ukraine.
God'swill Ayobamidele Nkwusi: my life in Estonia
«Go back home nigga!» «We don’t want you here. I hate you, you nigga! Don’t steal our jobs!» These are chants that already suggest one word - racism. This word provokes feelings of anger, hatred and even attacks on self-esteem. My first three years out of the four, that I've spent here in Tallinn, were not totally joyous; however, I had an experience void of an attack on my personality in relation to colour or race, writes God'swill Ayobamidele Nkwusi, who studies in Estonia.
Editorial: trust shaking, govt standing
In the common clay pot of the threefold coalition, new cracks are these days being discovered while pointing at one another saying was this you? Even so, the pot is intact being one of the kind in the household. And the cooking will go on, near-term. This might be a picture to paint about this next crisis of trust.
Editorial: Registered Partnership Act – the battle is on
Postimees stands for same sex couples to get needed legal protection for their partnership. Option to register same sex partnership robs no family of anything.
Editorial: the clear red line
The Syrian civil war and Russia's involvement in it have come to a complex stage where, due to variety of options, the further development is difficult to see as additionally muddied by Turkey downing a Russian jet on Syrian border yesterday with one pilot dead. The only thing clear is the line the Turks drew: with warning ignored, action follows.
Editorial: 34,000 young Estonians busy doing nothing
A glance at the latest statistics seems to say it is all uphill on the labour front. And yet, in National Audit Office yearly report, the arrow this time points to structural labour market problems. Why? Is it justified?
Editorial: the increasingly bitter private schools debate
Approved in the government and sent to the parliament, the Private Schools Act amendment bill has become contentious, at times erupting into a war of words between interest groups and politicians.
Editorial: the Toobal story moral
The moral is plain as can be: not befitting for adults to seek potential partners in schools. Be the targets opposite or same sex, be the seekers politicians of bus drivers, men or women. Makes no difference.
Editorial: political ploy presented as protection of rights
As Centre chairman Edgar Savisaar waives court action against Postimees and journalist Tuuli Koch in the so-called agent of influence case, the accompanying arguments raise the issue of why he sued in the first place.
Rõivas: I must tell the naked truth
In the nervous Europe, Estonia must not panic, not become uptight, but must take the situation as a challenge that the Estonian state is prepared for, says Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform).
Editorial: Europe headed towards collective defence
Right after the tragic Friday, it was obvious that France was not going to be left alone in fighting ISIS. Meanwhile, the way military assistance is being provided sets a presedence and may lead towards improved defence cooperation in European Union.
Incoming foreign intelligence chief says Russia is playing itself into international picture
A long-time chancellor at defence ministry, come New Year Mikk Marran (37) will assume leadership of Estonia's foreign intelligence, the Information Board. Drawing on his current job at the ministry while peeking into the future, he admits to be troubled by Russia's deepening aggressiveness and closeness.
Editorial: don't forget Ukraine
In the wake of Paris terrorist attacks, the voices of those concerned about Ukraine have again spoken up: while having compassion on the victims in Paris, they worried that the scattered public opinion would further drift from events in Ukraine. Indeed, nit just the attacks in Paris but the refugee crisis in Europe and the situation in Syria have taken Ukraine off the Western orbit. Meanwhile, support from the West is almost the only thing Ukraine may hope in right now. But the hearts of politicians are where the public focus is. And the heart has begun to beat to another rhythm.
Philippe Jourdan: this is anger, not faith
Estonian catholic bishop with French roots Philippe Jourdan says no-one has the right to kill innocent people in the name of faith – this is no religion but anger, boosted by lack of values.
Comments by Estonians dwelling in Paris
Editorial: Paris changed everything? It did not. The values must remain
Reaction in Europe to the Friday night terror attacks in Paris were substantially different from before. The acts owned by Islamic State were coordinated and inhumanly cruel. Even so, some of the reactions have led to conclusions potentially hazardous to basic European values. Should these reactions be allowed to dominate, not only will the terrorist groupings will be sent a signal that have they managed to shake Europe, but our own principles may be endangered.
Editorial: is Schengen dead?
We're living in a world where virtual reality sometimes feels more real than life itself. When nations which have agreed to do away with internal borders restore border checks due to influx of refugees, can we speak about Schengen treaty still valid? True: it does allow border control in certain situations and we can still travel freely from Tallinn to Lisbon with ID-card only, so both de jure and de facto if feels business as usual. But... is it?
Editorial: need to know or nice to know
Banks have begun to demand data from customers which, among other things, concern relatives' links to state offices. If we present not the data, we can't use the bank services. The clients are disturbed, and understandably so. The banks say they aren't after the data on their own initiative but according to laws and regulations. Data protection Inspectorate says banks need to update client data to comply with Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.
Editorial: more stolen or more found out?
The abundance of corruption cases discovered in Estonia recently is subject to varying interpretations. The simple one would be that corruption is on the rise. The other is praising the investigators for job well done.
Editorial: connections lost? What's the cost?
Of course we need the connections. Truth be told, we will always need more of them, and of ever superior quality. International cooperation comes not the e-way only. People do have to meet in the physical realm, and that takes travelling at high speeds and by companies.
Finnish professor: Putin is seeking cooperation
Last week featured a lecture at University of Tartu by Tuomas Forsberg, international politics lecturer at Tampere University and a leading Russian expert in Finland, who says the West was overly optimistic regarding Vladimir Putin at the beginning of last decade, but extremely pessimistic now.
Editorial: compensation for Soviet damages again tabled
Talking about damages caused for the occupation, thought go towards human lives being destroyed even as we write this, in Ukraine, due to activities by Kremlin. To mainly Russian-speaking people, vast material damage has been caused and the environment devastated. Regrettably, the powers that be at Kremlin have failed to learn the lessons of history that slaughter of people and destruction of assets comes with a price - potentially to be paid by them and their nation.
Jon Greenwald and Ilija Prachkovski: Macedonian Crisis could grow into another Balkans Tragedy
As summer was ending, Macedonia declared an emergency and temporarily closed its borders with Greece and Serbia. The small Balkan nation joined much of Europe in panicked, poorly considered, awkwardly implemented response to the asylum tragedy.
Editorial: the critical limit
OECD says patients in Estonia are nearing the critical 25 percent own payment limit in healthcare. That's where vital treatment may slip out of poor man's reach.
Ivan Medynskyi: Global Security Governance and the Role of the United States
The discussion of global governance is intrinsically connected to the debate about the international order and distribution of power within it.
Lilian Darii: European Integration and Euro-Atlantic co-operation of the Republic of Moldova
The Republic of Moldova has reached the paramount of its co-operation with the European Union in June 2014. The historical moment took place in Vilnius, where the 28-nation union signed the Association Agreements with three Eastern Partnership nations – Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Roland Freudenstein: The Refugee crisis and the future of European identity
Every meaningful political conflict is really about two things: reality and time. It is about who lives in a fantasy world, and who has their feet firmly on the ground. And it is about who is stuck in the past, and who owns the future.
Editorial: hey, keep on eating everybody!
Mighty these days is the torrent of information. Whatever we pick out and apply, is our own business. let's read wisely and avoid adding what isn't there. The health development institute guidelines are just that - guidelines and no commandments. Meanwhile, seeing the agency is competent, why not stop and think daily diet over.
Editorial: our symbolic treasure
As times go by, historic cultural treasures increase in value, both as assets and emotionally. In disputes between the nations, they evolve into a kind of symbolic metric and in the remarks around their ownership the current temperature of relations between the states is seen and felt. Likewise with an art collection taken to Russia from University of Tartu during WW1. While Fine Arts Museum in Voronezh celebrates 200th birthday of Otto Friedrich von Richter's Ancient Egypt Collection, we are still stuck with the centenary since it was taken away.
Edgars Rinkevics about the Rīga Conference 2015
With 2015 coming to an end, Latvia can look upon the year with pride and a sense of accomplishment. Having presided over the Council of the European Union for the first half of a trying year for the Union, the country of 2 million showed that great things can be achieved as long as one is willing to work hard and work together.
Editorial: The Fall of Corruption
This fall, hardly a week goes by with no corruption case popping into public limelight. The former Port of Tallinn bosses. The Mayor of Tallinn suspected in accepting bribes. The incidents at local governments… The latest? Driving licence tests bribery suspicions at Road Administration, and a «passport mafia» network built on Police and Border Guard Board people.
Postimees will offer exclusive coverage from Riga Conference
From 6th to 7th of November Postimees will offer live coverage from Riga Conference – the oldest security conference in the Baltic states.
Editorial: no taboo topics
The views expressed at Public Broadcasting (ERR) heads meeting that while discussing drug policy we should not give the floor to those favouring legalization of cannabis corresponds not to the balanced debate principle ERR should stand for. Understandably, the ERR leaders feel their responsibility. Understandably, the sense of responsibility contradicts ERR enhancing behaviour damaging to health. But this will not mean that a debate birthed in society may be limited to views of one side alone.
Editorial: do think twice
In July, then economy minister Urve Palo (Soc Dems) wrote her Lithuanian colleague hoping to alleviate a €2.5m claim against enterprise of Oleg Ossinovski, father of Soc Dems chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski. Whatever the motives, in context the picture looks pretty bad.
«Can't say for sure,» Road Administration director-general Priit Sauk told Postimees when asked if bribes were limited to Tallinn division alone - where five out of nine examiners are suspected in accepting or arranging bribes.
Editorial: a toothless state
If an ordinary paid worker owes money, a bailiff demands that he pay up. Limits are set to use of bank account. From registers, they will find about his assets and can apply forced sales. He keeps paying until the debt is covered. In the worst cases, he also pays the absurdly large fines for delay, and the tough collection costs.
Editorial: hope and fire in the heart of Tallinn
The war of words triggered around commercial center called Porto Franco planned near port had drawn the entire harbor area into limelight. Long oh how long has been the wait for the wastelands to be filled with buildings and beauty. In that sense, we are hopeful – soon, cranes will be adorning many a lot.
Editorial: the kids sports parental hate speech issue
The screaming, spitting and cussing mama bouncing on the bleacher may be fun to watch, perhaps, in some comedy. In real life, spare me the encounter.
Editorial: drunkenness decisively demolished?
Long is the history of fighting alcohol. Even on pages of Postimees. Writes founder Johann Voldemar Jannsen, in Perno Postimees editorial over 150 years ago: «Estonians should have fewer drunkards among us. I know nothing that has thus damaged the nation, and harmed the well-being of their minds and pocket books as vodka. What a shame if Russians would beat us in their contempt for it!»
Editorial: Europe, pay up for your defence
At NATO summit in Wales a year ago, all 28 members vowed to boost defence spending to a minimum of 2 percent of gross domestic produce in ten years. Think-tank Carnegie Europe's analysis «The Politics of 2 Percent: NATO and the Security Vacuum in Europe» compiled for its first anniversary finds the hope all reach the goal is overly optimistic. The analysis underlines the thus greater need to focus on what Europe needs to do to fill the vacuum.
Editorial: doubts are beaten by facts alone
As shown by fresh report of International Centre of Defence Studies, Russians in Estonia do not take information presented by neither Russian, Estonian nor Western media at face value but feel major doubts regarding it all.
Medical scientist proves hypothesis set by Lennart Meri
Not limited to liking what Lennart Meri wrote and published four decades back, medical scientist Raul Talvik believed it.
Editorial: who pulled the trigger?
By Dutch led investigation into Boeing 777-200 of Malaysia Airlines shot down above East-Ukraine on July 17th 2014, no explicit answer was provided as to who pulled the trigger to bring death to 298 people. What we do know is that Russia has stoked and stirred the events indirectly and directly causing the calamity.
Justice minister says soundness of mind needed with hate speech issue
While recent weeks feature frequent and fiery faultfinding with Estonia increasingly abounding with calls to hate and act ugly, justice minister Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) does not think it wisdom to criminalize hate speech. «We need to realize that by treating the hate speech issue in a manner sloppy, unwise and hasty, it can get absurd,» he warns.
Editorial: outspoken? Dare to go public
Regarding the hate speech issue raised in today's Postimees by justice minister Urmas Reinsalu: how do we solve the situation where in social media and online comments opinions of others aren't accepted but answered by insults and at times threats? Hoping words will be just words, or opting to punish?
Editorial: Riigikogu, shake the shame
At Riigikogu, many are glaringly annoyed at media dealing with costs compensation. But Estonia is a parliamentary state and, regrettably, the behavior of elected representatives has over the years remained much the... same. Memberships come and go yet the issue remains to be solved to satisfy the public. Wisdom lacking, or willingness?
Editorial: let's get this border treaty thing over with
A quarter of century process, Estonia-Russia border treaty has undergone debates on either side and twice it has been signed. Hopefully, both will now end up ratifying the document.
Editorial: building business in the land
For the first time ever, Estonia today hoists flags to celebrate Entrepreneur Day. If in a company or agency here and there they cut a cake, fine. Even so, don't let it be time wasted on hollow oratory. Better be thinking of the business culture as its currently stands, the economy as a whole, boosting the state/entrepreneur dialogue.
Editorial: language lacking? Let us teach, let us learn!
Arab speakers are scarce in Estonia and those ready and willing to work as interpreters are scarcer yet. Today's Postimees brings an article about practical problems perceived regarding the coming of refugees and language issues, and how it is intended to teach them Estonian.
Editorial: new ship, same trip
As, under new head Jevgeni Ossinovski, the Soc Dems opted to stay on in government and did the portfolio swap, Hannes Hanso replacing the former party chief and experienced defence minister Sven Mikser was the surprise most surprising. If it works, don't fix it? Not in this case. Why oh why?
Hannes Hanso «embarrassed» that soc dems wanted to cut defence spending
Defence minister Hannes Hanso (44 today, Soc Dems) says the main near term aim is finding a new deputy chancellor for the ministry, and a new chief for Information Board. As for anti-refugee statements by servicemen, he wants to put an end to that.
Editorial: the Estonian excellency of equality
Potentially, Estonia might be the global showcase of equal opportunities and shrunken wage gap. For that to happen, we might just as well admit that the slogans and banners and the frighting with windmills have not done much good neither here nor anywhere.
Editorial: e-image marred
Rightfully, we the people are proud of our e-Estonian reputation. To build that, lots of effort has been applied and much money spent. As pioneers in the domain, at times we'll unavoidably err. At that, what we must not do is squander the trust by affording sloppiness and stupid blunders. In a day of ever increasing popularity of e-services, we must be able to rely on professionalism in people and agencies ensuring glitch-free functioning of the systems.
Editorial: shameless swagger and (veiled) threats – why?
Let's picture the normal behavior. A suspect would say he agrees not to suspicion, has not planned to affect witnesses, thinks it not right to be suspended from office and will therefore appeal.
Editorial: what do we christen this Budget?
Each fall, politicians and at times even observers are seeking a name for the state budget to sum up its fundamental features, or flaws. This time, both pros and cons will be hard pressed as substantial surprises are difficult to detect.
Editorial: a good day for Estonia
For Estonia, Saturday was a good day. Thanks to cooperation of lots of agencies and time consuming negotiations, Eston Kohver is home at last.
Picking potatoes no more
Baskets in hand, the family stood ready at field side this Sunday. Got to pick potatoes for the winter. The fellow from the village was there with his tractor, and for all us experienced ones it was basically a piece of cake.
Editorial: brown gold, wrapped in paper
In Estonia, involvement tends to be in words only. With decisions, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs and real-lifers tend to be ignored. While with some softer domains the mistakes may merely cause the temporary media noise and public nagging, in some matters the errors may be fatal and the price to be paid severe. The latter surely involves issues of oil shale mining.
Editorial: Augean Stables, Estonia
With an environment under a single individual or grouping for a longer while, own rules are established prescribing that once the situation changes, a great cleanup is needed. A dirty job, in all likelihood. The way mud wrestling goes, none of the participants stays clean - nor the ones to comment on the event. This is the way it seems to be going with ferryboat traffic to Estonia's major islands, for years the playground of a businessman Vjatšeslav Leedo.