Citizens Day looming

  • 2000-11-23
  • Aleksei Gunter
TALLINN – At a press conference Nov. 20 , interior affairs and population ministers along with the head of the citizenship and migration board presented the state's vision for Citizens Day celebrations to be held Nov. 26.

Minister of Interior Tarmo Loodus opened the press conference mentioning that the first Estonian Act on Citizenship was enacted on Nov. 26, 1918. He proceeded to say that Citizens Day, celebrated on the same day, will expectedly become a tradition.

Loodus said he hopes there is something to celebrate for in every citizen of Estonia. Celebrating the day will help form stable and loyal citizens, said Loodus.

The government had director Rein Hansona shoot a special documentary, "The Citizen as the Basis of the Estonian State." The film speaks about being an Estonian citizen and the modern history of the country. To provide for enough copies, the Finance Ministry finally agreed to give 96,253 kroons ($5,234) from the state reserve fund.

Mari Pedak, head of the citizenship and migration board, said the board plans to promote the idea of citizenship through recently created Web site The site made in Russian and Estonian contains various information on matters of citizenship and the history of Estonia.

According to Population Minister Katrin Saks, 77 percent of Estonian residents have Estonian citizenship. That makes 1.11 million people, said Saks. The number of Russian citizens living in Estonia is about 75,000.

She mentioned that there are currently about 30,000 or 40,000 illegal residents without any formal status.