Eesti in brief - 2005-03-09

  • 2005-03-09
Reformist Andres Lipstok (photo) was elected as the first deputy speaker of Parliament on March 7, with Social Liberal Peeter Kreitzberg elected as second deputy speaker. The elections were held because former deputy speaker, Reformist Rein Lang, had been appointed as foreign minister in the wake of Kristiina Ojuland's recent sacking. Lipstok collected 47 votes, and Kreitzberg 27 votes in favor. The election was held by secret ballot.

The Foreign Ministry failed to find most of the 91 classified documents from 1996-2004 by the March 7 deadline set by the Security Police. Foreign Minister Rein Lang said that he would send an overview of the documents that had been found to the Security Police along with a set of new measures taken to protect state secrets. Lang said that most of the people connected with the lost documents had left the Foreign Ministry. The Security Police had given the ministry 30 days to find the lost documents.

Nearly 300 members of the railway trade union formed a human chain between the main railway station and the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Communications in Tallinn to draw attention to their grievances on the afternoon of March 7. According to Yolan Shevtsov, chairman of the railway trade union, about 300 people took part in the protest. "There was one person every five meters, in some places closer, standing in the chain," Shevtsov said. The railway trade union is dissatisfied with the level of government investment in the rail network.

The Estonian Integration Foundation is to organize a project in support of the integration of stateless persons. Applications for citizenship will be stepped up by means of an extensive information campaign and training program during the project, whose sum total for the period 2005-07 is nearly eight million kroons (511,000 euros), half of which will be provided by the state and half by the EU. According to Population Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo citzenship by naturalization was granted to 6,523 people last year. The program has set itself the aim of granting citizenship to at least 5,000 people a year.