Tallinn moves forward with mega hospital plan

The Tallinn City Council approved a bill to obligate the City Government to draw up a plan for the construction of the new Tallinn Hospital by the second quarter of 2016.

The plan sees a construction of a 700-bed hospital in an area between Lasnamäe and Maarjamäe districts. The central hospitals in Tallinn will also be united under one foundation, also named the Tallinn Hospital.

The aim of the project is to improve quality and availability of healthcare in Tallinn and in north Estonia.

Once complete the hospital should be Estonia’s largest, and would only be rivaled by the University Hospital complex in Tartu.

However, the hospital is unlikely to open its doors before 2025.

Source: ERR


Estonia’s territory is 45,339 km2

The total land area of Estonia has turned out to be bigger by 112 square kilometers than previously thought as a result of aerial photography and airborne scanning carried out by the Land Board in recent years, which also has enabled the authorities to adjust the borders and size of territory of individual administrative units.

The new size of the territory of Estonia measured on a single plane is 45,339 square kilometers, compared with 45,227 square kilometers shown in the statistics of the Land Board earlier, spokespeople for the Land Board said on Thursday.

“Where previously we used the so-called statistical territory size set out on maps on paper nearly 20 years ago, we now use significantly more precise data retrieved from electronic databases,” Director General of the Land Board Tambet Tiits said. “For instance, in the past a pencil or a marker was used to set down a border on the map, the width of the line made by which may have resulted in a deviation of up to 50 meters compared with the actual border,” he said.

The biggest differences with the older maps were recorded in the administrative units bordering on bodies of water, the administrative boundaries of which were changed to tally with the waterline. The biggest changes in the size of territory result from changes to the waterline of the Baltic Sea, Lake Peipsi, Lake Vortsjarve, Narva River and the Narva Reservoir.

For instance, the size of the administrative territory of the city of Narva was reduced by 20 percent to adjust its borders with the Narva Reservoir waterline and the new size of the city is 6,895 hectares compared with 8,454 hectares earlier. Also the Lake Peipsi coastal town of Kallaste and the Lake Peipsi island Piirissaar grew by more than 10 percent – Kallaste by 33 hectares and Piirissaar by 104 hectares.

Also the Estonian capital, Tallinn, is now bigger by 104 hectares than in previous records.

Source: BNS

Medieval ships were discovered in Tallinn

A few weeks ago ERR News reported a find of medieval ships at a construction site in Tallinn. Excavations are now well under way and the first results in.

Of the two ships laying close to each other, one is at least 600 years old, the other a bit younger.

“Some have already claimed this the find of a century,” Research in Estonia reports.

One of the vessels, a merchant ship from 13th or 14th century, bears sings of fire. “The wooden ship where tar and moss had been used as insulating materials was excellent food for fire that spread fast,” said archaeologist Maili Roio, who is excavating the ships. The fire ravaged through the vessel so quickly that even most of the ropes and moorings were left on the ship when it sank.

Roio’s team is performing an emergency dig on the ship, required before the construction of a new residental area can continue on the site where the ships were found in June. “Nothing would have happened to the ship, had she stayed where she was. But now we have to move quickly as exposure to oxygen, wind, and sunlight has been a real shock to her,” Roio explained.

As preserving and conserving would be too expensive, both the older ship and another one found a few metres away from the 15th or 16th century, will be removed from the site, researched as much as possible and then stowed away. In other words – the ships are going to be sunk back to the sea and covered, as the cold and wet environment is the best place to avoid further damage to them until funds to restore them can be found. “At the moment, we don’t even have the possibilities to conserve them. So sinking them is the most reasonable thing to do. That way, maybe someone some day will find a way to lift, conserve, and exhibit them.”

“We won’t have the time to analyse the ships very thoroughly in site, but we try to document and research the wrecks as thoroughly as we possibly can in current conditions. We also try to preserve them as compactly as possible,” Roio said.

Hence, Roio and her colleagues have managed to gather a lot of new information and artefacts that will be displayed on an exhibition, most likely to take place in the next few years. The finds include mortars, footwear, textiles and pottery found in the ships stowage.

The ships are almost definitely cogs, a popular type of vessels built in the Medieval times and used for many centuries. It was 2 metres deep, about 20 metres long and 6 metres wide. Only parts of such vessels have been found in Estonia before and even on a global scale, well-preserved wrecks are rare. The most famous of them, the Bremen cog that was built in the late 14th century and found some fifty years ago in Germany, is now displayed as one of the key exhibits in the German Shipping Museum in Bremerhaven.

Roio also expressed hope that this might not be the last to be unearthed in Estonia. “Although these vessels are quite extraordinary, it is possible we’ll encounter more such findings in the future,” she said. “Tallinn was, after all, a Hanseatic city, so who knows.”

“I just hope we find it when we are more prepared for it than today,” she admitted.

The wrecks of three Medieval ships were discovered in June in an old harbour near Kadriorg, which was filled in toward the end of the 1930s. The vessels lied 4 meters deep in sea sediments.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review


Over half of stateless residents want to become citizens of Estonia

More than half of the people with undetermined citizenship living in Estonia would like to get Estonian citizenship but have difficulty mastering the official language to the necessary level, it appears from the findings of the survey titled “Monitoring of Integration in Estonian Society in 2015” published on Thursday.

According to the outcome of the survey commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, 57 percent of stateless residents wish to obtain Estonian citizenship. They most frequently name inability to master the Estonian language as the main obstacle to naturalization.

In addition the outcome of the survey reveals the absence of strong motivators to meet the conditions set for the acquisition of citizenship, as one in three stateless respondents say that not having citizenship does not affect their ability to live in Estonia. Besides it’s easier for people who do not have Estonian citizenship to travel to Russia and other CIS states.

Citizens of Estonia make up 85 percent of the Estonian population and one-sixth of the population does not have Estonian citizenship. Of ethnic Russian residents of Estonia, 54 percent have Estonian citizenship, 24 percent Russian citizenship and 21 percent are stateless. Of ethnic Estonians 99.6 percent are citizens of Estonia.

From the viewpoint of integration policy it is causing concern that as much as 19 percent of the people of ethnic backgrounds other than Estonian who were born in Estonia and whose parents were also born in Estonia are not citizens of Estonia. The proportion of such residents has not declined compared with the previous similar survey taken in 2011. Besides there is as much as 34 percent of non-citizens among the so-called second generation, or people of ethnic backgrounds other than Estonian born in Estonia.

One-third of the people born in Estonia who do not have Estonian citizenship are young people of ages 15-34 and one-fifth of them describe their command of Estonian as good or very good. That such young people born in Estonia and having good command of Estonian language do not have full political rights and are staying apart from Estonian citizenry is a serious challenge to Estonia’s integration policy, the authors of the survey say.

Considering the low opinion of this population segment of their command of Estonian, but also the bigger proportion of members of the older generations and people with vocational or high school education among them, inability to meet the set conditions may indeed be considered an obstacle to the acquisition of citizenship.

According to the survey, a remarkable change has taken place in recent years in the attitude of Estonians towards easing the procedures for obtaining citizenship, with the vast majority of Estonians now expressing the opinion that all children born in the Republic of Estonia should obtain Estonian citizenship by simplified procedure regardless of the citizenship of their parents, and the same should apply to other people who have born in the Republic of Estonia.

The integration monitoring survey is an independent in-depth survey of the field of integration commissioned by the Ministry of Culture that is carried out every three to four years. The survey of 2015 is the sixth such survey.

Research for the study, which sampled a total of 1,200 respondents in Estonia, was carried out in January and February this year. Additionally focus group interviews were conducted, which focused on multilingual schools, media consumption and employment opportunities for young people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Source: Baltic News Service

Cinema attendance reached an all-time record

According to Statistics Estonia there were 2.6 million cinema visits in 2014, which is an all-time record since the restoration of independence. In the last nine years, cinema attendance has increased each year.

In 2014, there were 353 films screened in Estonian cinemas, 28 of these films were Estonian productions, 157 films of the USA, 148 European films and 20 films of other countries. The average price of a cinema ticket was 4.9 euros and the total box office of cinemas was 12.8 million euros.

The most popular Estonian films in 2014 were “Nullpunkt” by Mihkel Ulk (43,000 visits), “Kirsitubakas” by Andres and Katrin Maimik (20,000 visits) and “Risttuules” by Martti Helde (18,000 visits). In 2014, Estonian films were watched in cinemas by a total of 123,000 persons, which is nearly 5% of all cinema visitors.

The most popular foreign films were “Frozen” (88,000 visits), “Rio 2” (74,000 visits) and “How to Train Your Dragon 2” (68,000 visits). All three were a production of the USA.

During one cinema visit, a visitor spends an average of 10.9 euros, nearly 8 euros of which are spent at the cinema and 2.9 euros on transport and other expenses outside the cinema. The total annual expenditure of cinema visitors amounts to 67.4 million euros, 49 million euros of which are spent at the cinema and 18.4 million euros outside the cinema. The expenditures of cinema visitors account for 27% of all the expenditures of the visitors of sports and cultural events.

There were 8 full-length feature films and 12 full-length documentaries produced in Estonia in 2014. In total, there were 20 full-length films produced in Estonia in 2014. Besides the full-length films meant for screening in cinemas, 44 short feature films, 85 short documentaries and 10 short animations were also produced. In total, 159 short or full-length films were produced in Estonia.Diagram: Cinema attendance, 1994–2014

Full-length film – a film of a duration of at least 60 minutes or 52 minutes in the case of TV formats.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Population decline is slowing down

According to the revised data of Statistics Estonia, 1,313,271 persons lived in Estonia on 1 January 2015 – 2,666 persons (0.2%) fewer than at the same time a year earlier. Negative natural increase is the main cause for population decline, while the influence of emigration has decreased significantly.

The population decreased by 733 persons due to negative net migration (with more people leaving Estonia than taking up residence here) and by 1,933 persons due to negative natural increase (the number of deaths exceeded the number of births). Among the processes influencing population decline, there has been a rise in the share of negative natural increase. The previous time when the population number decreased more because of negative natural increase than because of external migration was in 2003.

In 2014, 13,595 persons were born and 15,528 persons died. The number of births remained at the level of the previous year. This is a positive indicator because the number of women in childbearing age is decreasing each year. Just four years earlier, as many as 2,000 children more were born (there were 15,825 births in 2010). The number of deaths has been declining since the beginning of the 1990s and in the last five years the number of deaths per year has remained between 15,000 and 16,000.

In 2014, more people left Estonia than took up residence here; immigrants numbered 3,904 and emigrants – 4,637. Compared to the three previous years, external migration has decreased by nearly 30%, while the level of immigration has remained the same. Since immigration consists mainly in return migration, which occurs generally 1–2 years after emigration, then after a previous period of more active emigration a higher level of immigration can be expected.

Harju county was the only county where the population number increased (by more than 3,000), mainly due to an increase in the population of Tallinn city. The decline was the biggest in Ida-Viru county – both in absolute and relative figures. Population loss exceeded 1% also in Järva and Lääne counties. A relatively small decline occurred in Saare and Hiiu counties, with population decreasing by fewer than 50 persons in both counties. In the rest of the counties, the population declined by 0.5–0.9%.Diagram: Natural increase and net migration, 2005–2014

The estimated population number is based on the 2011 Population and Housing Census and estimated under-coverage, and has been adjusted based on births, deaths and migration registered in the following years. The population number changes slightly due to revisions of personal ID-codes and the inclusion of persons who had been missing from population statistics so far.

Source: Statistics Estonia

How satisfied are people with their lives

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?” people across the European Union (EU) were asked. Life satisfaction represents how a respondent evaluates or appraises his or her life taken as a whole. It has a prominent role as it can be regarded as a key indicator of subjective well-being. On a scale from 0 (“not satisfied at all”) to 10 (“fully satisfied”), nearly 80% of residents aged 16 and over in the EU rated their overall life satisfaction in 2013 at 6 and higher, with an average (mean) satisfaction of 7.1.

In 2013, mean life satisfaction, measured on a scale of 0 to 10, varied significantly between EU Member States. With an overall average of 8.0, inhabitants in Denmark, Finland and Sweden were the most satisfied with their lives in the EU, followed by those in the Netherlands and Austria (both 7.8). At the opposite end of the scale, residents in Bulgaria (4.8) were by far the least satisfied, followed by those in Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and Portugal (all 6.2).

Baltic countries had the same satisfaction rate within 6,5-6,7.

life satisfaction

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