Eesti in brief - 2006-08-23

  • 2006-08-23
Five members of the U.S. House of Representatives will tour Estonia this week to discuss bilateral relations with Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. The congressmen will be in Tallinn en route to Asia, where the delegation will check on the effectiveness of U.S. foreign aid programs. The group will be headed by Jim Kolbe, who chairs the House of Representative's Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs 's the branch of government responsible for financing most foreign aid programs. Kolbe will be joined by fellow congressmen Fred Upton, Brian Baird and Andrew Crenshaw.

The number of Estonian doctors working in Finland has doubled in the past five years. Recent figures show that Estonian-speaking doctors now number 111, a 50 percent increase since 2000. Only Russian doctors outnumber Estonians in Finland. The northern country's higher wages and open labor market for medical workers has encouraged the exodus.

Residents of Saaremaa are opposed to the installation of more wind-driven electricity generators on the rural island. Locals in the villages of Pahkla and Unimae have threatened to take the council to court if it allows the construction of six new generators. The village residents fear that property values will fall due to the unsightly and noisy generators. There are already several wind generators on Saaremaa and the nearby coast of mainland Estonia.

A higher number of births than deaths was recorded in July, though statisticians said the increase was an anomaly and did not point to population growth. According to figures from the Interior Ministry, a total of 1,341 births and 1,314 deaths were registered in July. The last time the number of live births exceeded deaths was in July 1992, and the last time Estonia experienced annual population growth was in 1990. The final figures will change as late registrations, stillborn births, and overseas births and deaths are filtered out, leading statistician Ulle Valgma said. She cautioned against viewing the July figures an indication of a trend. "Rather it was a coincidence 's the number of births registered in June was big while the number of deaths was smaller as is common during the summer," she explained. From January through July, 8,732 births and 10,564 deaths were registered in Estonia, marking a gap of 1,832.