Eesti in brief - 2004-05-27

  • 2004-05-27
Estonian businessman and former politician Gennady Ever (photo), 48, was reportedly killed in Pskov on May 25. The Russian police identified the victim by an identification card that was recovered from the body. According to the Interfax news agency, the killer shot the victim seven times from a Kalashnikov assault rifle equipped with a silencer. The weapon was recovered at the murder scene. The car the killer reportedly used was found later burnt in a suburb. Ever was under the watchful eye of the Estonian police over the last several years in connection with his stake in Rukon Info, a company publishing several local newspapers in Russian, but never faced any charges. The previous owners of Rukon Info were murdered. Ever was a member of the Tallinn City Council from 1999 to 2002.

Chancellor of the Foreign Ministry Priit Kolbre last week warned ministry staff in an e-mail about information leaks that had become "an epidemic." Kolbre is concerned about the loyalty of the ministry's personnel, which has been having trouble keeping info within the walls of the ministry, citing an alleged conflict between Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland and other ministry staff that a local paper reported on last week. Other cases of sensitive information leaks were reportedly related to deportation of two Russian diplomats and the violation of Estonia's air space by the Russian air force. Ironically, Kolbre's message was also leaked to the local press.

Comments to a local newspaper cost Konstantin Vassiljev, 20, a midfielder for FC Levadia, his place in the Estonian national soccer team for the friendly games against Denmark and Scotland scheduled for this week. National team chief coach Arno Pijpers announced on May 25 that Vassiljev's comments to the SL Ohtuleht tabloid were "pejorative to the national team and fellow players." Vassiljev told the newspaper in an interview that "the best players do not necessarily get an invitation to the national team" and that he was invited to play for the national team "just in order to be invited" without many chances of actually going out to the field. The Estonian national team is mostly made up of FC Flora players, which has caused much criticism from other clubs.

The two major political parties in the ruling coalition will likely be the winners of the European Parliament elections in Estonia, according to the latest survey by Turu-uuringute pollster. The Reform Party, the long-lasting coalition player that has survived several political unions, is the most popular among the Estonian voters who plan to go to the European Parliament elections. The reformists' rating was 16 percent as of the beginning of May. Res Publica, the coalition's leading party, was the runner-up with 14 percent. The Center Party, the leading opposition force, was third with 11 percent support. About 9 percent would vote fore the People's Union and Pro Patria Union, and the Social Democrats are supported by about 6 percent.