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Freedom is the best solution
By Mart Laar
Published Postimees 18 July 2009 A response to the article “Laar's dilemma” This week Abdul Turay asked how to get Estonia out of the crisis, if the basis of our success is in Milton Friedman and Austrian economy school principles. There is doubt about the two ideas and the two theories are caught up in conflict. Furthermore conservative policies have been replaced by left-wing ones.
Actually this has been talked about a lot. There has been a reversal of fortune. Now Friedman, the free market and low taxes get abused as people continually point to this as the reason as to why the crisis emerged. The world did the opposite in the 1930s and paid dearly for this. Now the great powers generally avoid protectionism and taxes have fallen more than they have risen. But it is government intervention in the economy that has grown, not doubt in the free market.
I didn't go ahead with my economic reforms in Estonia for five years on the basis of some…
It's a Global Election
By Amy Goodman
First published in syndication across North America 21 July 2008
TALLINN, Estonia –
When I arrived in Estonia last week – a former Soviet republic that lies just south of Finland – everyone had an opinion on Barack Obama's speech in Berlin. The headline of the British Daily Telegraph we picked up in Finland blared "New walls must not divide us," with half-page photos of the American presidential candidate silhouetted against a sea of 200,000 people.One of the first people I met in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, was Abdul Turay, the editor in chief of The Baltic Times, an English-language weekly that covers Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the three Baltic nations. Granted, he's not a typical resident for this country of largely fair-haired light-skinned people: Turay is a black Briton whose parents come from the West African nations of Liberia and Sierra Leone. And he is Muslim. While Estonia has no mosques, he notes…
Revisiting school days
By Abdul Turay
First Published Jun 11, 2008

My spouse’s father is a fisherman. Since she grew up with the sea I once took her to see the first sea clocks in Greenwich. These 18th century inventions made safe sea travel possible for the first time.
First I showed her the drama “Longitude,” which tells the story of how the clocks were created. Inventor John Harrison went through hell making the things. This gave the visit an extra poignancy for my partner because she knew the human story behind the clocks.

This is a good recommendation for any site-seeing tour. If you read the book or see the film first, then you will enjoy the place you go to see more. Palamuse is a small town in Jogeva County. It has just 2,500 people. It is most famous as the place where Oscars Luts, a 20th century Estonian writer, went to school.
Luts is often compared to Dickens, but with less blood and guts. One of his most famous works, Kevade (Spring), is about his school days. Tha…
Bigotry and denial
By Anton Dwyer, Marge Tubalkain-Trell and Adam Mullet
First published May 22, 2008


A man, let’s call him Joe Bloggs, told The Baltic Times about a horrible experience he had while traveling to the Baltics in the days before the Schengen zone.

He was crossing the border by bus between Estonia and Latvia when immigration officials came to look over the passengers. They frog-marched Bloggs off the bus and took him to a room to interrogate him. He was striped naked and inspected. His belongings were searched.
The officials took away his mobile phone and did not allow him to call his embassy. He was locked in a windowless room where he spent the night. Eventually, in the morning, they let him call his embassy and they came and got him out.

This was not the first time that Bloggs had been detained. If it had happened once it could be just bad luck, if two or three times then exceptionally bad luck, but after the fourth incident he realized that it was more than just bad luck. …
The language myth
By Vincent Freeman with additional reporting by Adam Mullett
First published July 16, 2008

Tallinners can be strange. Not only do they dislike Russian-speakers speaking Russian, they don’t like Finnish tourists speaking Finnish.
“We are not in Finland. If you can’t speak Estonian, speak English” would be a typical response.
It’s understandable that Estonians prefer English — it is, after all, an international language. Also, in this part of the world, it is politically neutral. Russian, German and even Swedish can be associated with occupation and colonization. Estonia and the other Baltic states are small nations, and they can’t expect everybody to learn their language.

There are also practical reasons. The fact is, a lot of people living in Estonia don’t speak Estonian. It is possible for two people born in Tallinn in the same year to be forced to converse in English because it is the only language that they have in common. It’s part of the great Russian-Estonian divide.