While in June last year, 40 percent of Estonians trusted the institution of the prime minister, in December just 33 percent said they did, reports Public Broadcasting citing fresh poll results from Turu-uuringute. As compared to other institutions analyzed in the study, the trust towards the prime minister has fallen the most. Forty percent of people trusted the government and 37 percent trusted the Riigikogu. In both cases the backing has also fallen, by 2 and 3 percentage points, respectively. The trust towards parties grew but the share of people trusting them is rather low, 25 percent (22 percent in June). The highest trust rating belongs to the Rescue Board, whom 95 percent of people trusted, followed by the Police and Border Guard Board (83 percent), Defense Forces (81 percent), Tax and Customs Board (80 percent), Public Broadcasting (79 percent), Eesti Pank (74 percent). The president has the trust of 61 percent of respondents, NATO 57 percent, the European Union 53 percent.
As of Jan. 1, the Estonian Embassy in Minsk will be the NATO Contact Point Embassy (CPE) in Belarus, reports LETA. The mandate for a Contact Point Embassy lasts two years. According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, acting as a CPE supports Estonia’s image as a trustworthy ally and expands communication channels in NATO as well as in the contact country. “The primary task of the Contact Point Embassy is to introduce the goals and activities of NATO, as well as to create and strengthen contacts in the country of residence,” Paet stated. He added that another goal of a CPE is to pass on information and give an overview to NATO of security policy developments in the country of residence. The CPE also plays an essential role in high-level NATO visits. The Contact Point Embassy system was created in 1992 to support the work of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and is one of the channels through which NATO’s policies are introduced in the alliance’s partner countries.
The Estonian government approved on Jam. 3 a decree that raises teachers’ minimum wages as of Jan. 1 retroactively, reports Public Broadcasting. The minimum wage of junior teachers is increased from 608 euros to 715 euros a month and the teacher’s minimum wage from 644 euros also to 715 euros a month. The minimum wages of senior teachers and teacher-methodologists won’t be increased. An extra fee is paid for fulfilling homeroom teacher’s tasks.