TALLINN - As of next year, the colors green and red will carry entirely new meaning for Ministry of Interior officials. Used as a warning system for the possibility of assault, the color green will symbolize zero-risk, while red signifies heightened alarm. The system, already widely familiar in the U.S.A., is one of the ministry's developing risk-prevention measures.
Speaking at the defense commission in Parliament last week, Interior Minister Margus Leivo said that Estonia perceived new threats, such as international terrorism, within the boundaries of its own borders. He added that, although today the terrorist threat in Estonia is low, it has increased overt the past years.
Estonia currently does not have any concrete plans should a natural disaster destroy an oil tanker near the coast, for example, or should terrorists sabotage the national electricity network, according to Leivo.
The color-alert system would notify strategic businesses and institutions on how to respond to each particular stage of an emergency.
Leivo suggested that the annual national security expense should be tied with the GDP, just as defense spending is in accordance with NATO membership rules. He added that "the biggest problem is that resources spent on leveling the security risks do not correspond with the essence of those risks."
This should influence the government to allocate a certain percent of the GDP to domestic security needs, he said.
According to Leivo, Estonia should further develop cooperation between the Interior and Defense ministries.
A recent step to tighten cooperation between the military and civilian services was an October agreement between the state police department and the Defense League, a voluntary military organization that is a part of the Estonian defense forces.