Center Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar said last week that practically the entire Estonian news media are in the pocket of right-wing parties. Speaking at Center Party’s congress, Savisaar accused the press of keeping silent on issues that could damage right-wing parties, especially before elections. Savisaar said one example was the way the media and the government handled the case of child molester Kaur Hanson. According to the chairman, the media pushed aside the Hanson case until after the elections to protect the image of the Reform Party and IRL. He said that the media kept silent about how the Reform Party supported the rise of Hermann Simm to the top of the Ministry of Defense, which enabled Simm to pass along NATO secrets to Russia. The same claim is made of IRL, doing the same for its campaign mastermind Kaur Hanson, who at one time was head of the parents’ association. “The media have not explained why Hermann Simm’s cover was blown not by the counterintelligence service of Estonia, but by foreign countries.”
Although both the Estonian state and the city of Tallinn were planning to allocate 50 million kroons (3.2 million euros) for Tallinn’s Cultural Capital 2011 project, the amount spent will have to be reduced, reports LETA. The city of Tallinn is now planning to allocate 20 million kroons and the state 10 million kroons. The culture capital program includes from 150 to 175 large and small local and foreign events. The Foundation Tallinn 2011 organization says that half of the events from the program for 2011 may have to be cancelled. “The cuts concern most acutely the large international projects. Activities taking place in public spaces, such as the free events, will suffer,” said Foundation Tallinn 2011 communications manager Andri Maimets. Culture Minister Laine Janes pointed out that the city will finance other projects that contribute to the Culture Capital year. Additionally, the state will bring the Song and Dance Festival forward by one year for the event.