Eesti in brief - 2004-02-26

  • 2004-02-26
Ulo Vooglaid, an MP from the Res Publica faction, resigned on Feb. 23, stating that his skills and abilities are not needed in the Estonian Parliament. Vooglaid, 69, an educational specialist and scientist, will most probably be replaced by Anti Tammeoks, another member of Res Publica, currently working in the waste processing business.

After Estonia joins the EU over 100 of the country's medical workers will flee to Finland for better salaries, Finland's Minister of Health and Social Services Liisa Hyssala told the Kaleva newspaper. Hyssala said the expected migration of medical workers would deprive the Baltic state of some of its qualified doctors who were trained with support from taxpayers' money. A specialist doctor earns approximately 4,400 euros a month in Finland, seven times more than the average rate in Estonia.

A state expert commission recommended that the government carry on with the Estonian Genome Project's current investor EGeen should the latter pay the nearly 722,000 euros that it owes. EGeen announced last month that it would delay the funding of the next stage of the project until it could reach a compromise with the government on the research priorities.

The estimated annual turnover of the underground prostitution business in Estonia has grown about 60 times from 1992 and involves roughly 51 million to 63 million euros, according to the Open Estonia Foundation Institute. In Finland the prostitution market turnover exceeds that of its Baltic neighbor by two to three times.

Road traffic violators are more impulsive, optimistic and quick thinking compared with other drivers, according to research conducted by Tartu University scientists Jaanus Harro and Marika Paaver. The researchers also found that these drivers often hold high positions at work and enjoy above-average incomes.
The survey ordered by the Road Administration and carried out from 2002 to 2003 also found out that people caught drunk at the steering wheel mostly have low levels of income and education.

Prime Minister Juhan Parts gave an Independence Day speech in Tartu's Vanemuine Concert hall on Feb. 23 in which he said that the Soviet frame of mind could still be found in the Baltic country. Parts said that this type of mentality could prevent a person from embracing the idea of the Estonian state and their personal responsibility.

The Social Affairs Ministry has begun preparing plans to raise doctors' pay in response to the fact that many of the country's doctors seek better-paying jobs abroad. Deputy Social Affairs Minister Kulvar Mand said through a spokesperson that a working group had been set up at the ministry to address this issue and that the group should achieve preliminary results by midsummer.