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Eesti in brief - 2012-10-03

Oct 03, 2012

The Estonian government issued a plan in spring 2012, according to which young Estonian doctors, who decide to work in their homeland, especially in less inhabited areas, would receive 15,000 euros each; however, not a single specialist has applied for this program yet, reports Postimees. The plan was intended to motivate young specialists to stay and work in Estonia. Therefore, the offer to register for work in Estonia and receive this benefit has been prolonged from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, 2012. Experts say that young doctors mostly plan their future spontaneously; therefore, they are not interested in the state-paid benefit.

The government has rejected claims that a run of high-profile crimes could be pinned to cuts in policing, as part of an austerity drive in the country, reports Postimees. The authorities have been forced on the defensive by rising media accusations of failing to tackle criminal gangs. “The internal security structures in Estonia have became stronger every year,” Priit Heinsoo, head of the Interior Ministry’s criminal policy department, told AFP. “The budget of the Police and Border Guard Board is just 0.8 percent smaller now than it was in 2009, and despite our administrative staff decreasing since then by 70 percent, the number of police officers is around the same,” he insisted. Estonian media subsequently reported that local residents had long been terrorized by gangs but that police took little or no action, and highlighted a string of earlier cases.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said on Sept. 27 while handing over the draft state budget for 2013 to the Riigikogu that the government took into consideration the effects of the global financial crisis as well as the firm knowledge that “we cannot live at the expense of the future,” reports Public Broadcasting. Next year’s state budget income is planned to be 7.5 billion euros with expenditures of 7.7 billion euros, meaning a 0.7 percent nominal deficit. Expenditures increase by 1.1 percent from this year and the debt burden of Estonia’s government sector will be the lowest in Europe.

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