Eesti in brief - 2006-10-11

  • 2006-10-11
Outgoing president Arnold Ruutel officially handed the post over to Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Oct. 9. The European parliamentarian was sworn in as president during a ceremony at the Riigikogu (Estonia's parliament). At age 52, Ilves is the youngest president in the European Union. The former foreign minister defeated Ruutel in an electoral college vote on Sept. 23. During his inauguration speech, Ilves said it was time Estonia behaved as if it were a state that had never been occupied. "We must stop using the past as a cudgel," Ilves said. "If we want Estonia to be great and generous, we need to offer all the people living here something unique. We need to offer a reason for Estonian youth to stay in the country, and also bring back the tens of thousands who have left over the past 15 years."

A Finnish court has sentenced Kaido Kreen, who competed with the national beach volleyball team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, to three years in prison for stealing mobile phone parts from a Nokia plant. The 41-year-old was one of three Estonians sentenced for the crime, while five other defendants were cleared of similar charges. According to the sentence, Kreen stole more than 600,000 euros worth of mobile phone components from a Nokia plant in Salo between 2004 and 2005. The parts were transported to Estonia by accomplices.