• 2007-10-17
  • Tony Vincent, Tallinn
As a British ex-pat living in Tallinn I find the current debate over the integration of the Russian minority somewhat stunning.
In a country whose president is Swedish born and American trained, a child can be born here and still remain a stateless person just because he or she cannot speak the language 's which appears to be the president's only claim to his residency status. This is gross hypocrisy.
Language and culture are two different things. Xenophobia and pride in one's country are also two different things.

This is 2007 and it is a global world. If all Estonian businesses refused to speak anything but Estonian then exports would fall even further than they are at present. The current course of both the president and the government in the name of Estonian culture will achieve nothing but the collapse of the economy in the name of a language spoken by a million people in a world of six and a half billion.
The Estonian Republic will become a reservation for endangered peoples rather than a land of liberal attitudes and opportunity for all.

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