Eesti in brief - 2012-03-01

  • 2012-02-29

Defense Minister Mart Laar remains in the hospital after suffering a stroke last week, ERR reports. His family said that his condition had not much improved. Laar, who was hospitalized at the North Estonia Medical Center on February 18 after having suffered from hypertension-related stroke while visiting friends, is now suffering from pneumonia that is complicating his recovery and is still in need of intensive medical care according to the Defense Ministry’s February 27 press release based on a quote by a family spokesperson. Minister of Education Jaak Aaviksoo, who served as defense minister from 2007 to 2011, has taken over Laar’s ministerial duties for the time of his absence.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in his annual Anniversary of the Republic speech that he is concerned about excessive negative criticism of the choices of our state and that people should be more fair and reasonable, National Broadcasting reports. “I am concerned about our excessive negative criticism of the choices of our state and of our own choices,” Ilves said. “This goes for everyone. This goes for politicians, officials, MPs, representatives of constitutional institutions as well as texts published in the media. Let us solve problems, not create new ones through insults and taking offence and through vituperation… I suppose we all have become slightly nervous on the threshold of the fifth year of the global economic crisis. We seem to be losing our politeness or perhaps it seems that politeness is no longer useful, because we can do without it and more easily so. In a tough economy it often seems that someone is benefiting better and more than they should at the expense of others. Be it pay, work, EU funds, building permits and many other things. And the state is obligated to give everyone everything,” he said.

Three Estonian municipalities have so far recalled their applications put in for the zero-emission cars that they were due to receive as a gift from the state by May 2012, the Estonian national broadcasting reports. The Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs started distributing the 507 i-Miev electric cars that Estonia acquired in a carbon credits deal with Mitsubishi last September; 69 vehicles are still unclaimed, whereas the first 50 hit the roads in November. The environmentally-friendly transport does not seem to suit the needs of all municipalities. The town of Moisakula in Viljandi County is one of three that has backed out of its initial plan to acquire an electric car, citing an infrastructure issue, namely that the planned network of express charging stations for electric vehicles skirts the town by 30 kilometers.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves underwent surgery for his left shoulder joint on Monday in Finland, National Broadcasting reports. President Ilves injured his shoulder joint in the course of exercise. A council of doctors decided at the end of last year that since such complex shoulder joint injuries are not treated with arthroscopic method in Estonia, the operation should take place in Finland. Arthroscopic treatment is a surgical method when the joint is not opened up during the operation and recovery period is much shorter than with open methods. Usually the everyday working ability is restored in a couple of days after such a surgery but since Ilves was at the surgery discovered to have also tendon rupture, which was treated, his shoulder will need to heal for a few weeks.