Eesti in brief - 2011-04-21

  • 2011-04-20

Last year the activities of foreign intelligence services on Estonian territory and regarding Estonian citizens were the most active in recent years, reports Eesti Paevaleht Online. Over the past two years, the Estonian Security Police (KaPo) has noticed a 30 percent growth of recruitment attempts by Russian special services, KaPo’s annual report, revealed on April 12, indicates. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has made several failed recruitment attempts; its interest towards Estonian foreign and domestic policy can be considered the most remarkable as compared to other services. Other Russian intelligence services, SVR and GRU, are also represented in Estonia and are interested in access to Estonian as well as NATO and EU information, the report states. Among other topics that the annual report tackles, KaPo points out that in the Estonian Muslim community, the number of Islam converts continues to grow, as does the trend to observe radical principles.

The Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) spent 1.2 billion kroons (around 80 million euros) last year for sick leave compensations, which is nearly 1 billion kroons less than in 2009, reports National Broadcasting. The number of all sick leaves fell 27 percent; the fund last year compensated 5.5 million sick leave days. The average length of a sick leave was 14.6 days. EHIF paid compensation of an average 234 kroons a day for sick leave compensation. In 2010, EHIF’s revenues were 10.8 billion kroons and expenditures 10.9 billion kroons. The number of people with state health insurance was 1,256,240 at the end of the year, of whom working insured formed 45 percent. One reason for the fall of sick leave compensation is the regulation introduced in summer 2009 for cutting state costs that an employee does not get sick leave compensation for the first three days of being ill.

The Estonian education ministry received applications from 16 Russian high schools in Estonia to continue teaching in just the Russian language this autumn, reports Eesti Paevaleht Online. The ministry received the application of the Tallinn city council to postpone the partial transition to Estonian-language teaching in 11 Russian high schools. The ministry had received a similar application concerning 5 high schools in Narva earlier, said the ministry’s general education department head, Irene Kaosaar. “The transition to Estonian language teaching in high schools has progressed so far according to plan,” said Kaosaar. There are 47 municipal high schools with Russian as the teaching language operating in Estonia. According to the Education Ministry plan, high school level students of these schools should, starting September this year, start studying 60 percent of subjects in the Estonian language, which is aimed to raise the competitiveness of Russian youths in universities and the labor market.