Worldwide population of Estonians is 1.06 Mln

The number of ethnic Estonians living in the world now is 1 060 000, of whom 930 000 live in Estonia and about 130 000, or 12%, in other countries, it appears from a human resource report presented by the Estonian Co-operation Assembly on Thursday.
The eastern diaspora of Estonians is constantly declining. In Russia, where the number of ethnic Estonians is the largest, the decline is happening as a result of a big share of elderly people in the ethnic Estonian population and assimilation of the younger generation.
The number of ethnic Estonians living in countries of the West has been stable for the past six decades due to the wave of new emigration that started in the 1990s. As a result, the number of ethnic Estonians has grown rapidly in the new countries of destination for the emigration of Estonians, particularly Finland.
In new emigration the survey identifies two definite types of emigration, the first being people temporarily studying or working in foreign countries and the second being people who have left their native country for good. The large size of the former group leaves an erroneous impression of the scale on which leaving of Estonia has taken place.

Source: Estonian Review


Materials science at Tartu University among most influential in World

According to the ESI (Essential Science Indicators) database, Estonia’s Tartu University is among the top one percent of the world’s most influential materials science centres in the world as of 1 July, the daily Eesti Päevaleht reported. As there are nearly 60 000 research centres in the database, this means that the Tartu University materials science department is among the 600 best such centres in the world.
Indrek Ots, head of the Tartu University research and development department, said that the influence of research centres is assessed by the number of articles and references in learned papers. Ots said that the university does not receive monetary gain from the recognition, but it is important in competition situations.
Alvo Aabloo, professor of polymeric materials at the university, said that belonging to the top of the database helps bring scientists to Tartu University and to involve them in international projects. The major projects at Tartu University have been working out artificial muscles and a robot model.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia one of four countries to actually deliver aid to Haiti

Six months after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, most governments that promised money to help rebuild the country have not delivered any funds at all, a CNN investigation has found. Only four countries have paid so far: Brazil, Norway, Estonia and Australia.
Donors promised 5.3 billion US dollars at an aid conference in March about two months after the earthquake, but less than 2% of that money has been given to the United Nations-backed body set up to handle it. Former President Bill Clinton, a UN special envoy for Haiti, said he plans to put pressure on governments that have been slow to deliver on their promises. He said the worldwide economic crisis was at least partly to blame.
Altogether, about 506 million dollars has been disbursed to Haiti since the donors’ conference in March, said Jehane Sedky of the UN Development Program. That’s about 9% of the money that was pledged.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said in his comments to BNS on Thursday that countries were only halfway through their fiscal year and procedures were going on. “Hopefully the amount of donor aid will start growing rapidly. We are made more confident about it by the fact that the money that has gone there so far has according to the experts who examined the use of aid in Haiti been used well and for its proper purpose,” said the minister.

Source: Estonian Review

PM recognises Lithuanian government for managing crisis

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met today with his Lithuanian colleague Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, and Speaker of the Seimas Irena Degutienė. In addition to bilateral co-operation, the main topics at the meeting were economic and energy issues. At the meeting, Prime Minister Ansip acknowledged the government led by Andrius Kubilius for their management of Lithuania during the economic crisis.
“The developments in all three Baltic countries have been very similar during the economic crisis, and thanks to rapid responses, we have all been able to decisively cut costs in the government sector,” Prime Minister Ansip said. At the same time, the government leader stressed that Estonia did not simply make national budget cuts and initiate structural reforms in order to adopt the euro, but like Lithuania and Latvia, Estonia’s goal is to guarantee the sustainability of the country.
Co-operation in the field of energy was also discussed at the meeting between the prime ministers. Prime Minister Ansip expressed his hope that Lithuania would become a part of the Nord Pool Spot electricity market as of 1 January 2011. “Estonia is interested in the creation of a functioning electricity market in the Baltic countries, as part of a common Nordic electricity market,” he said.
The prime ministers also discussed the necessity of creating a digital EU domestic market, the lack of which, Ansip believes, prevents the strengthening of the EU’s competitiveness.
The importance of structural reforms was also under discussion at the meetings. The need to increase the retirement age was discussed with Irena Degutienė, the Speaker of the Seimas. “Increasing the retirement age is topical throughout Europe and thanks to public support we were able to carry this out in Estonia,” Ansip said. Degutienė expressed her hope that the draft legislation related to increasing the retirement age in Lithuania will be approved next autumn. “Considering how quickly our average lifespan is increasing, it is fair to let people know as early as possible that they must plan on retiring when they are older than the previous retirement age,” Prime Minister Ansip said.
At his meeting with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Ansip wished Grybauskaitė luck following the completion of the first year of her term as President.
In the course of the visit, Prime Minister Ansip placed wreaths on the grave of Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas and at the foot of the memorial dedicated to those who have died for Lithuanian freedom.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia appreciates USA’s non-recognition policy

Tomorrow, 23 July, will mark 70 years since the Welles Declaration, with which the United States of America publicly announced that it did not recognise Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as being incorporated into the composition of the Soviet Union.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that Estonia still remembers the USA’s concrete principles and the help that was given to help us restore our independence. “Over the decades, the non-recognition policy of the United States gave the people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the hope and enthusiasm to believe in the restoration of independence and to act on the desire for freedom,” emphasised Foreign Minister Paet. “In addition to hope in Estonia, we should also keep in mind that Estonia was represented as a country in the United States throughout the entire occupation. I’m sure we all remember Ambassador Ernst Jaakson, the Estonian diplomat who handed the Estonian Consulate General in New York, which had functioned throughout the occupation years, to the newly independent Republic of Estonia in 1991,” said Paet.

Paet confirmed that, in remembering the non-recognition policy, Estonia is all the more pleased to continue its active allied relations with the USA.

After the Baltic states were occupied and staged parliamentary elections with forged results were held as a result of Soviet pressure, the acting US Secretary of State Sumner Welles declared on 23 July 1940 that the United States of America condemns the actions of the Soviet Union in deliberately annihilating the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia

Estonian prices in EEK and EUR

In the following months one of the priorities of the Consumer Protection Board of Estonia is to oversee price presentation, correct exchange rates and rounding rules, and, if necessary, carry out sanctioning thereof.
From July 1, 2010, until June 30, 2011, in addition to kroons, the prices of goods and services offered to consumers shall also be presented in the euros.
The principles for price presentation in the two currencies are established with a regulation of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications. Andres Sooniste, Director General of the Consumer Protection Board, said that “the regulation gives consumers a chance to become familiar with the new prices as early as possible, making the process of transition smoother.”
Prices in two currencies shall either be printed or handwritten in the points of sale of goods/services as well as in various price lists. If the price is marked on the product, its packaging or a tag thereof (e.g. footwear, clothes, books, etc.), a price list, setting out the prices in both kroons and euros, may be put up next to the goods available on the nearby shelves, counters or pallets, .
The requirement to present prices in two currencies also applies to e-commerce, with a concession that if the prices in two currencies cannot be added to products/services, the relevant websites must include a price calculator that enables you to calculate the cost of a product or service in the euros. Furthermore, it is also recommended that end amounts to be paid by the customer for the goods selected into the basket shall be presented in two currencies.
The requirement to present prices in two currencies shall not, however, cover the goods and services offered in sales catalogues, due to the fact that some of the catalogues may have been printed before the requirement took effect.
Price presentation in two currencies does not cover the following:
      1) Unit price of pre-packaged goods;
      2) Sales price of the amount of goods measured as ordered by the consumer;
      3) Amount of packaging deposit.
Furthermore, it is not obligatory to print the prices presented in two currencies on different tickets (public transport, theatre, cinema, museum, exhibition tickets, and lottery tickets), phone pay cards and gift cards for shopping. However, at points of sale of tickets, the sales prices of tickets shall be presented in both kroons and the euros.
Recalculating prices from one currency to another shall be carried out on the basis of the official exchange rate of the Bank of Estonia (15.6466) and the result of recalculation shall be rounded to one cent accuracy according to the third number after the decimal point. If the third digit after the decimal point is 5 or higher, the price shall be rounded upwards.
Until the day of adopting the euro (presumably January 1, 2011), commercial transactions are based on prices presented in Estonian kroons with those presented in euros having a merely informative purpose. As of the euro adoption date the transactions shall be conducted according to the euro prices.
The Consumer Protection Board shall check the presentation and correctness of prices, imposing fines, if necessary, on those that have failed to meet the requirements.
Guidelines regarding price presentation in two currencies are available online. Questions concerning the adoption of the euro can be submitted via the “ask a question” page at, or via the EU information phone free of charge: 800 3330. The consumer related questions may also be submitted via the information phone 1330 set up by the Consumer Protection Board.
Source: Ministry of Finance of Estonia