The December Consumer Confidence Barometer survey by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research demonstrated that consumer confidence and assessments on families’ financial situation have improved, reports Aripaev Online. Consumer confidence has improved in the year-on-year comparison, mostly due to an increase in wages and improvements on the labor market. Consumer assessments on their families’ financial situation outlooks have also improved. In December, 55 percent of respondents to the survey stated that they spend as much as they earn; 37 percent are able to put money aside in savings and 8 percent either live on previous earnings or are in debt.
On Jan. 3, Estonia marked with a minute of silence the anniversary of the armistice of the War of Freedom and commemorated those who fought for Estonia’s freedom, reports Postimees Online. At 10.30 a.m. a ceremony took place at the War of Freedom monument in central Tallinn that commemorated the armistice between Estonia and Soviet Russia that came in force on Jan. 3, 1920, which marked Estonia’s victory in the War of Freedom. The memorial day was also marked by the ringing of church bells across Estonia and with a minute of silence on radio programs. Defense Forces and Defense League units placed wreaths at the War of Freedom monuments across Estonia. On Dec. 31, 1919 an armistice agreement was reached at negotiations between Estonia and Soviet Russia, which prescribed ceasing military activities at the frontline between Estonia and Soviet Russia at 10.30 a.m. on Jan. 3, 1920. A month later, the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed ending the War of Freedom. Nearly 5,000 people died in the War of Freedom.
Estonian leading parties Reform Party and Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (PRU) don’t intend to reveal their European Commissioner candidates for several months to come; they are firm just about one thing – both want their party member to get the post, reports Postimees. The situation around the post became tense after PRU chairman Urmas Reinsalu declared that he thinks that the next Estonian candidate for the Commission should come from the PRU. Reinsalu said that this is in line with political culture since the Reform Party has had the commissioner post for two terms of the office of Siim Kallas. Reform Party deputy chairman, foreign minister and also potential candidate for the Commissioner’s post Urmas Paet has a different opinion. He thinks that most important is that Estonia gets the most competent Commissioner. Paet said that the choice could be a person for whom it would be the easiest to start working there, considering earlier experiences, contacts and understanding of EU developments. This would then be Paet himself, or Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, according to the daily. Submitting candidates for European Parliament election ends on April 10.