Eesti in brief - 2012-05-31

  • 2012-05-30

According to a fresh study by the Estonian Market Research Institute, 81 percent of Estonians think that alcohol consumption in the country should be reduced, and 75 percent think that Estonians consume too much alcohol, reports Delfi. Although a half of respondents say that people themselves should take steps to reduce consumption, just 2 percent admitted that they drink too much. Social Minister Hanno Pevkur said that it is a positive thing that Estonian people realize their own major role in reducing alcohol consumption. “Yet… If three-fourths think that people drink too much and just a tiny two percent admit that they drink too much, then it is clear that there is a huge gap between the general evaluations and self evaluation,” said Pevkur. Estonians consumed 10.2 liters of absolute alcohol a year in 2011, growth of 5.7 percent or 0.55 liters in a year. Pevkur said that the Ministry’s policies are aimed at reducing the figure to below 8 liters.

The Estonian government approved on May 24 a bill that is needed to create the European Stability Mechanism (ESM); according to the bill a new section is added in the EU working mechanisms agreement Article 136, according to which the euro area states can create a stability mechanism, reports Public Broadcasting. At the same time, the Estonian government is waiting for the decision of the Estonian Supreme Court about the ESM founding agreement, which Legal Chancellor Indrek Teder estimates contradicts the Estonian Constitution. The foundation agreement that the Riigikogu has not yet ratified prescribes the possibility of making decisions in granting aid with an 85 percent majority of votes by participant states. Teder thinks that this provision contradicts the Constitution. Estonian taxpayers provide to the ESM for use nearly 150 million euros and guarantee ESM obligations of more than a billion euros.

Last year, 45.4 legally induced abortions per 100 live births took place in Estonia, which is one of the highest rates in the EU, reports Postimees Online. 8,654 abortions were registered in Estonia last year: 6,668 were willful abortions and 1,986 were miscarriages. “The number of abortions has decreased constantly. When in 2010, there were 7,068 induced abortions, last year there were 6,668,” said Statistical Office senior statistician Kalev Noorkoiv. There were 20.6 abortions per 1,000 women in 2011 versus 21.6 in 2010. The rate of abortions, i.e. number of abortions per live births, grew from 44.7 in 2010 to 45.4 in 2011, but the reason was that the number of live births was by 1,000 smaller than a year earlier. “The number of abortions fell but the number of births fell even more,” said Noorkoiv. In 2011, 14,679 babies were born in Estonia.