About 67 percent of residents believe Estonia has been the most successful among the three Baltic states since the restoration of independence in 1991, according to a recent survey by Turu-Uuringute AS. Only 7 percent consider Latvia the most successful, and some 8 percent name Lithuania. A similar survey carried out in Latvia this spring by SKDS pollster showed that 52 percent of Latvians consider Estonia to be the most successful Baltic republic, 26 percent said Lithuania was the most successful and only 7 percent preferred their homeland.
In connection with the elevated security threat level in the U.S.A., especially in the financial institutions of New York, Washington and New Jersey, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has asked Estonian citizens in those regions to register with the Estonian Consulate in New York. The measure is said to provide better consular protection in case of any potential crisis.
Heinrich Mark (photo), head of the Estonian government in exile as president from 1990 to 1992, died on Aug. 2 in Sweden. Born in 1911 in southern Estonia, Mark graduated from Tartu University's law faculty and worked as an elementary school teacher and solicitor in Tartu and in Tallinn. He ran for Parliament in the 1940 general election as an alternative candidate to the Estonian Working People's Union list but was removed from the list of candidates. Mark escaped to Finland in 1943 where he became one of the founders of the Estonian Bureau, an exile organization, and assistant to the editor-in-chief of an Estonian newspaper. After moving to Sweden in 1944, he worked as assistant at the National Committee of Foreigners. He held various posts in the Estonian government in exile from 1953 to 1992.
The number of residents who declared annual income of over 1 million kroons (64,000 euros) has grown by 32 percent since 2002 and reached 628 people, according to the Tax and Customs Board. The declared income for the 2003 fiscal year of the top 10 millionaires made a total of 225 million kroons, and nine out of the top 10 reside in Tallinn or in the Harju county area surrounding the city. An average Estonian millionaire is a 44-year-old male living in Tallinn.
The Tallinn municipality issued a permit to Mea Culpa, an NGO, to carry out a gay parade in the Old Town on Aug. 14 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The first ever official gay march will celebrate the International Day of Gay Culture and will take place despite the appeal of the Estonian Christian People's Party to cancel it.
A Russian aerial survey and photography plane on Aug. 2 violated Estonian airspace. The AN-30 plane entered national airspace near the island of Vaindloo in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland, the defense forces headquarters report. The violation was detected by the air sovereignty operations center.