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Eesti in brief - 2004-03-18

  • 2004-03-18
Over 25,000 Russian citizens residing in Estonia voted in the Russian presidential elections, accoridng to the Russian Embassy in Tallinn.

The results were as follows: Russia's current President Vladimir Putin got 83.5 percent, Nikolai Kharitonov 10.6 percent, Sergey Glazyev 2.88 percent, Irina Khakamada 1.25 percent, Oleg Malyshkin 0.48 percent and Sergey Mironov 0.28 percent. About 0.48 percent voted against all candidates.

On March 10 Parliament ratified NATO accession treaty. The official NATO accession ceremony will take place in Brussels on April 2. Estonia's contribution to the NATO forces will include several rapid reaction units and a minesweeping unit. The country also hosts an airspace surveillance radar that is part of the air policing solution in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Carrot, tomato, cucumber, pumpkin and rhubarb are considered to be fruits in a bill prepared by the Estonian government to regulate the ingredients for jam. The magic migration of the garden stuff from the vegetable class into the fruit class came from EU regulations that were lobbied by Portuguese companies selling carrot jam.

The online banking service of Hansabank was inaccessible for users outside Estonia from March 12 to March 14 as a result of a massive Internet attack. The electronic assault was reportedly aimed at taking the servers off-line and thus hampering the online services of the bank, according to the Hansabank IT department. The attack, however, was not launched to illegally gather personal data of the bank's clients. Still, the bank filed an application to open criminal investigation. Apart from Hansabank, the networks of Elion, a telecom company, were also overloaded.

Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar (photo) has suggested allocating 15 percent instead of the current 11.4 percent for the municipal budget when distributing the 26 percent personal income tax. The suggestion is believed to have come out of the budgetary problems the capital city faces after failing to sell of numerous real estate properties. The mayor also proposed changing the law on roads to allocate 30 percent of the fuel excise tax to the municipality for road renovation and construction.

A new survey from Praxis finds that the number of Estonians wanting to work abroad has been declining from year to year. The data reveals that 4 percent - the same number as in 2000 - are sure that they want to go work outside of Estonia and have made specific preparations to do so. Young people, students, men and people with incomplete university education were those most likely to exhibit a desire to find employment abroad.