Eesti in brief - 2006-07-12

  • 2006-07-12
Biologists were surprised by the sighting of a humpback whale in the Baltic Sea. A Finnish school teacher photographed the whale as it played in the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern reaches of the Baltic Sea last week. It was later identified as a young humpback whale measuring seven to eight meters. The age of the whale has led biologists to speculate that it may have become separated from its mother. Whales are a rare sight in Baltic waters. In 1978, a humpback was spotted near Finland, and spent six months in the region before it died.

Estonian diplomats to the United Nations in New York rack up an average of 10.5 unpaid parking fines each year, U.S. economists reported. The experts researched the number of unpaid fines around U.N. headquarters as an indicator of the cultural norms of diplomats who are immune from prosecution. Estonians were the worst of all three Baltic states, placing behind Lithuania's two tickets per year, while Latvian diplomats left no unpaid bills at all.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has foreshadowed raising the nation's retirement age to cope with an ageing workforce. Workers in their twenties and thirties can now expect to work an extra four or five years in their career. Ansip said such a change would be necessary in the future, adding that other European nations had already taken similar steps.