Eesti in brief - 2007-08-15

  • 2007-08-15
Organizers of the Tallinn Pride gay parade said the Aug. 11 march was a success, with no disruptions or violent attacks. Lisette Kampus, convener of the march, said about 300 people took part in the colorful event, which traversed the streets of the Old Town. Several "No Pride" protesters followed the march holding signs, and some religious groups also raised placards opposing the event. "Some people followed us, but they were very peaceful. I am happy that we can all express our minds peacefully," Kampus said. "It's a very positive sign for human rights in the Baltics."

A British survey found Tallinn would be the top travel destination for UK tourists during 2008. A study conducted for travel company Opodo found Estonia's property market and cheap flights were the main reason for the increase in interest. Tallinn ranked number one as the preferred destination, ahead of Accra (Ghana), Porto (Portugal), Rome, Manila, Bangkok, Bucharest, Venice, Seville, and Hong Kong.

Estonian Railway (Eesti Raudtee) said it would be forced to fire 200 workers by the end of the year following the decrease in freight from Russia in the wake of the Bronze Soldier relocation. However, because of Estonia's current labor shortage, most of the workers are expected to find new jobs even before they have been fired. Large firms such as security companies, factories and public transport bodies have already offered many of the sacked workers employment.

An Estonian man has been arrested in Argentina with 1.2 kilograms of an undisclosed drug, honorary consul Peet Pullisaar told local media.  The man, aged 19, had allegedly been promised a payment of 4,000 euros to deliver the drugs to Europe. Three other Estonians have previously been caught for similar offenses 's one has already been convicted and two are awaiting trial.

An attempt by the Greens to hold an extraordinary session of Parliament failed after members of the ruling coalition refused to register their presence, despite sitting in the chamber. The Greens had hoped to debate the government's energy policy on Aug. 13, but were stifled when coalition MPs refrained from casting their votes. Energy issues are expected to be on the Riigikogu's agenda when it meets again in the fall.