Eesti in brief - 2004-11-17

  • 2004-11-17
Prime Minister Juhan Parts said that Estonia would be ready to take over the EU presidency only in 2013, although the country would have the opportunity to do so in 2008. Holland, the current presiding EU country, will compose the schedule for the EU presidency after 2007 in December.

President Arnold Ruutel expressed condolences on Nov. 12 to Palestinian authorities on the death of their leader Yasser Arafat. Ruutel wrote that Estonia felt solidarity with the people of Palestine during this difficult time. He also wrote that Estonia, along with the rest of the EU, would remain dedicated to the road-map plan in order to see an effective, sovereign and independent Palestine peacefully existing side by side with Israel. Foreign Ministry Chancellor and Ambassador to the Holy See Priit Kolbre attended Arafat's funeral ceremony in Cairo.

Power outages blackened about 300 substations across the country due to heavy rain and strong winds on Nov.12 - 13. The majority of outages took place on the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa. Eesti Energia experts noticed that the problems were mostly caused by strong winds that hit electricity lines, along with air-born tree branches.

Tallinn's annual Christmas tree was erected in Town Hall Square on Nov.16. The 23-meter tree came from the northeastern part of the country and cost the municipality about 3,300 euros, including a transportation fee of 640 euros.

Experts on the protection of children's rights have claimed that an Estonian reality TV show broadcast at one of the country's nation-wide commercial channels mistreated children participating in the show. The parents who agreed to the show, which was based on the temporary exchange of mothers from two families, reportedly violated the rights of their children, using them for advertising purposes.

Tallinn police have arrested four of the city's most wanted drug-dealers and seized about six kilograms of the drug GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate). The operation resulted from a long investigation aimed at busting the major players in Tallinn's drug-dealing scene.

Consumers consider a well-respected trademark as being more important than price when it comes to telecommunications and financial services, according to a recent survey by the Trout&Partners marketing company and Emor pollster. The situation, however, is the opposite with the case of consumer goods, shopping centers and motor fuel.

Police detained a 19-year-old in northeastern Estonia in connection with last November's brutal murder of an elderly couple. Vladimir confessed that he had deliberately killed the two senior citizens, aged 67 and 71, after being influenced by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment," police said.