Eesti in brief - 2004-12-22

  • 2004-12-22
A police car that was part of President Arnold Ruutel's escort hit another vehicle while escorting the president to Viljandi county on Dec. 17. The driver of the civilian vehicle failed to pay attention to the police car that had both the alarm signal and the flashing lights turned on, police said. No one was injured. It was the second time this year a presidential escort

Independent experts from Russia who took part in an international seminar arranged by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association in Tallinn have found that Russia's political and military elite still considers NATO a threat and an adversary, which is also reflective of the mood among the country's citizens. The Russian experts said that this situation could change if NATO would be more open in sharing its possible expansion plans, particularly regarding Ukraine and Georgia.

Estonia's euro coins will feature a silhouette of the country, thanks to the results of a public phone vote held in the country on Dec. 4 - 11. The winning design gathered 12,482 votes out of a total 45,453. Created by 57-year-old graphic artist and national post employee, Lembit Lohmus, the coin design depicts the contour of the Estonian map and the word "Eesti" on all denominations - from the 1 euro cent coin to the 2 euro coin. According to the Bank of Estonia, the country will likely switch to the new currency in January 2007.

The average Estonian will buy Christmas presents for seven people this year and will have a gift budget of about 55 euros, according to a survey by the Emor pollster. Compared with last year, the average Xmas budget has slightly increased. The pollster also found that most Estonians want Santa to bring them clothes, footwear, mobile phones, home electronics and books. Two-thirds of the population will likely spend the New Year's Eve at the table with their family, and only 5 percent intend to party at a club or a hotel.

All pet dogs will have to have a microchip implant from August 2006, according to a new idea in the Tallinn city administration. It is hoped the measure will help get rid of stray dogs and make dog owners more responsible for their pets. Dogs that have a tattoo or legible number on the collar registered before that date will not have to undergo the microchip operation until 2011. As of December 2004, about 1,500 dogs - or some 5 percent of the total - have the microchip already. The decision must be approved by the Tallinn City Council.

The serviceman who sustained severe injuries in an October explosion in Baghdad in which another soldier was killed is steadily recovering, military medics said. Defense forces' chief doctor Maj. Andrus Remmelgas said that the soldier, who was in a coma, can now speak and is showing normal vital signs.