Eesti in brief - 2007-07-25

  • 2007-07-25
The government said it would pay 350,000 kroons to help transport a fragile premature baby born to an Estonian mother who was holidaying in Turkey in early July. The baby boy, named Ralf, was delivered in the 24th week of pregnancy as his mother Ulle Vilgo holidayed in Antalya. A special charter flight will be scheduled to bring him back to Tallinn at the expense of the Ministry of Social Affairs, while Tallinn City Council has offered to give money toward his care. The little boy has become somewhat of a celebrity, with newspapers closely following his progress.

Prosecutors said they will level more embezzlement charges against Erki Aavik, the former head of rapeseed company Werol, who is awaiting prosecution over the disappearance of several million kroons. Aavik has been under investigation since November 2006, when prosecutors announced he was suspected of shifting company funds. He was taken into custody but was released on bail two months later. Prosecutor Marge Puss said further allegedly suspicious activity had since been discovered. Aavik is now suspected of embezzling a total of three million kroons and laundering the funds.

Several high-powered diplomats will switch jobs in a reshuffle inside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The current ambassador to the United States, the former Defense Minister Juri Luik, will leave his post on July 30 to represent Estonia on NATO matters. Luik will be replaced by Vaino Reinart, who currently serves as the ambassador to the European Union. The EU vacancy will be filled by Raul Malk, who previously headed the Foreign Affairs Ministry's planning department. All three ambassadors are viewed as rising stars on the Estonian political landscape.

The Estonian football team has replaced its coach following a string of losses. Danish coach Viggo Jensen will take over from Dutchman Jelle Goes, who decided not to renew his contract after Estonia lost to England 3-0. The Estonian side has lost all of their seven qualifying matches since entering the Euro Cup qualifying tournament.