Eesti in brief - 2007-06-13

  • 2007-06-13
Estonian Air has introduced a new aircraft to its fleet in an attempt to improve its flight schedule. The new 118-seat Boeing 737-500 was previously operated by Czech Airlines, and made its maiden flight under its new colors on Monday June 11, traveling from Tallinn to Stockholm. Estonian Air now has a total of six aircraft in its fleet.

Alcohol will continue to be sold from shops until 11 p.m. after Harju County Governor Varner Lootsmann reversed his decision to impose restrictions during the summer. Booze sales in Tallinn were briefly banned after 8 p.m. under Lootsmann's orders, but he backed away from the plan after Regional Affairs Minister Vallo Reimaa challenged his authority to impose restrictions for an entire season. Lootsmann said he still believed that tighter controls on alcohol sales were necessary to control crime and public behavior. On June 12 the Center Party attempted to push a bill through Parliament to ban alcohol sales after 11 p.m. across Estonia, but was voted down by the governing coalition.

British "bobbies" went on the beat in Tallinn on June 6 to assist the thousands of fans who traveled to Estonia for the England-Estonia football game. The police officers, dressed in their iconic uniforms and rounded hats, met fans at the airport, the Old Town and the stadium. Several undercover British officers were also on hand to identify known hooligans. Authorities were pleased with the crowd, with only a handful of British nationals being taken into custody overnight for drunken behavior. As predicted, Estonia lost the game to England. The score was 3 - 0.

Four Estonian soldiers have been decorated with military medals from the United States for their services in Iraq. On June 11, the soldiers were presented with Bronze Star medals, the fourth highest combat award in the U.S. armed services. Major Jaak Mee, Major Aivar Kokka, Captain Margus Kuul and Sergeant Major Heigo Kaubi were commended for their bravery and capability in dangerous operations last year. Another 15 soldiers were awarded various other combat badges. Estonian troops have served under U.S. command in Iraq since June 2003.