Tallinn the English-speaking city?

  • 2007-11-20
  • In cooperation with BNS

TALLINN -- In order to provide Tallinn with a greater competitive edge, English should be granted the status of an official language in the Estonian capital, chairman of the Tallinn city council Toomas Vitsut said at a conference outlining visions for the city's future.

The adoption of English could help invigorate Estonia's weakening economy given that Russian entrepreneurs are leaving the city, he said according to spokespeople.

"That, however, would require as radical an approach from official Estonian institutions as is the demand for command of the official state language. It would ensure higher incomes for residents of Tallinn and Estonia as a whole," Vitsut said.

The Center Party politician said that owing to its position Tallinn was responsible for the whole of Estonia in terms of generating welfare and remaining competitive.

Vice Mayor Ivi Eenmaa, of the Reform Party, invited Tallinn to assert itself more strongly among cities of the Baltic Sea countries. She described very low coverage of Tallinn in the international media as an indicator that the city was becoming provincialized.

Eenmaa called for special legal status for the capital city and backed the idea of turning Tallinn into the financial capital of the Nordic region.

Another vice mayor, Tonis Palts, of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, said the way out for Tallinn to rid itself of the status of periphery of the European space was to eliminate mental borders between Tallinn and the rest of Estonia.