teisipäev, detsember 28, 2010

firing king kong

Blogger Flasher T of Antyx has an excellent rundown of the latest scandal to hit Edgar Savisaar, mayor of Tallinn and leader of the Centre Party (Keskerakond), the second largest party in the Estonian parliament.

In that post (and in other media) it is strongly hinted that someone within Savisaar's own party might have tipped off the Estonian secret services to Savisaar's attempts to procure money from Russia to finance the party's campaigns in the March 2011 parliamentary elections. Flasher also insinuated that the secret services were pressured to leak to story to the press. Savisaar has denied any wrongdoing, and still looks set to lead his party in March.

That might be good for the Centre Party in the short term -- Savisaar is still their most attractive candidate and biggest vote getter -- but in the long term, it is becoming more obvious that the man needs to go. SDE's departure from the Tallinn city coalition following the scandal did not exactly cause a political earthquake -- their share of the city government was small -- but it was a symbolic move, one that will remind Savisaar of the challenge the Centre Party would have in forming a parliamentary coalition. And the Centre Party cannot rule the Estonian parliament alone. It needs partners.

The inability of Centre to form a coalition ultimately hurts its voters. If the Reform and IRL parties really represent the interests of those who have benefitted most from neoliberal/conservative economic and social policies, then Centre and SDE should represent the losers (and there are a lot of them). In order for the losers to change the current policies, the power in parliament would have to reverse. That would require a center-left coalition, yet such a coalition is impossible as long as Savisaar stays in power. At the same time, it would be hard to get enough votes to form such a coalition without Savisaar's name at the top of the list.

It's likely that no one within the Centre Party wants to tell Savisaar that he has to go. Too many people owe him for their political careers. It would be like firing King Kong. At the same time, they must know that if they ever want to form a coalition in the Estonian parliament, they'll need a new leader.

124 kommentaari:

plasma-jack ütles ...

firing king kong

You surely meant "trapping the Rhino".

It's likely that no one within the Centre Party wants to tell Savisaar that he has to go.

But the saarlased led by Kalle Laanet have done just that: www.epl.ee/artikkel/589981
Rebellious folk, these islanders, always against the mainstream.

Joshua ütles ...

"That would require a center-left coalition, yet such a coalition is impossible as long as Savisaar stays in power. At the same time, it would be hard to get enough votes to form such a coalition without Savisaar's name at the top of the list."

That pretty much sums it up.

"Too many people owe him for their political careers."

Wasn't Sven Mikser once upon a time a disciple of Savisaar?

moevenort ütles ...

It´s a funny coincidence that these things where published now, three month before the elections take place. But who would dare to suppose a connection here...

Btw- As far as I know it´s more or less an open secret that Reform parties election campaigns are fincanced by Swedish Banks. I heart this is one of the reasons why as the financial crisis broke out everything was done to ensure that no harm was done to the banks who played roulette while evertything was done to let the people bleed for the banks fortune. The normal term for this is political corruption as well. So why no one is asking questions concerning the Reform Party as well?

btw: while the Estonian academic elite in its nutschell is debating about the Savisaar files, it´s another funny coincedence that just today one of Germanys most influential newspapers, Die ZEIT, published a long interview with Savisaar. Not about some Kapo files( Personally I would call their methods Stasi- methods), but about serious policy issues, including criticial questions about social policy, poverty in Estonia and myths about the Euro. For those who understand the German language, the interview can be found here:

http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2010-12/euro-interview-savisaar

Funny also, It´s the first time at all that such big newspaper gives so much space to Savisaar. It´s interesting, that they don´t give interview space to Ansip. A sign maybe? But probably the journalists of "Die Zeit" are also just some hidden communist or part of Moscows 5th column. Isn´t it Andrus Ansip?

Joshua ütles ...

Swedish money is good. Russian money is bad. It's that simple.

Actually the funniest thing that happened during the Savisaar scandal was the news that Latvia is supporting Visa Freedom with Russia. But that got buried under all those articles about Savisaar and I've had the impression that most people don't know about that.

"Läti toetab selle protsessi viivitamatut alustamist, väga hästi mõistes, kui palju koduseid ülesandeid tuleb mõlemal poolel teha, et viisavaba režiim Euroopa Liidu ja Venemaa vahel saaks reaalsuseks. See sõltub sellest, kui edukalt teevad mõlemad pooled koostööd just praktiliste küsimuste lahendamisel. Viisavaba režiimi ei saa kehtestada ühe korraldusega ... Meie ise - Läti - teame oma isiklikust kogemusest, kui palju tööd ja aega see nõuab. Läti seisukoht on, et seda tuleb alustada kohe," ütles Zatlers.

It's moments like these when I just sit down and laugh until I pass out.

Lingüista ütles ...

Movenort: who would dare? Why, pretty much everybody. That's common wisdom! :-) That there is some political machination behind the scenes is quite obvious, don't you think?

It's a good thing that only you personally would call KaPo methods Stasi-like. Phew! For a second I thought you might be saying they are still cooperating with East Berlin...

A German Zeitschrift giving too much Raum to Herr Savisaar? Why, could this come from some sort of friendship between the Parteigenossen and the Towarischi? Now isn't that funny? :-)

Lingüista ütles ...

Joshua, that struck my eye too. Zatlers always seemed keen on the 'right-thinking' things in the Latvian agenda -- accepting the Occupation and the Continuity theories, for instance. Now visa-free regime... I wondered what that meant, e.g. what Latvia is getting from Russia for that. I don't think Vīķe-Freiberga would have done that.

Joshua ütles ...

"Zatlers always seemed keen on the 'right-thinking' things in the Latvian agenda -- accepting the Occupation and the Continuity theories, for instance."

Exactly. That was like completely random. And Zatlers also looks like Tunne Kelam, which makes it even more random. :D

I feel like it hasn't gotten the rage and discussion that it deserves.

Actually, this is the moment for conspiracy theories. The one about Kapo framing Savisaar for the political agendas of Reform and IRL is just too boring and unsuccesful. Let's make it more interesting and say that the whole scandal was constructed just to hide this visa-freedom news from the estonian public. To tire them out with Savisaar so they would have no rage left, while they all secretly adapt to the visa-freedom behind the scenes dictated by some secret policy from Bruessels. And everyone's in on it. And perhaps a touch of Illuminati and couple of extraterrestials too. Or time-travelling reptiloids.

Piimapukk ütles ...

They should get the visa free travel between Russia and EU. In fact, they should embrace Russia as a full member of EU and in time people like moevenort will understand very well what why these "little fascist states" like Estonia nad Latvia were having their "issues" with Russia. Just do it. Don't mind us, fascists. We know nothing.

On the topic though, I wonder if this is the noose that hangs the rhino or do we really need a lightning bolt?

Piimapukk ütles ...

Oh, this just in -

"The CEO of Dusseldorf Airport, Christoph Blume, said he wanted to introduce passenger profiling in German airports to fight terrorism. The system would be similar to that used in Israel, where passengers are categorized as high or low risk according to their age, sex, ethnic background and other criteria ...

"In this way, the security systems can be more effectively used to benefit all those involved," Blume, who will become president of the German Airport Association (ADV) in January, told the German Newspaper Rheinische Post on Tuesday.

High-risk passengers - those deemed more likely to carry out terrorist or illegal activity, such as organized crime, drug trafficking or espionage - would undergo more stringent security checks. This could mean anything from a bag search to a full body search.

Blume isn't alone in calling for more targeted checks. Current procedures aren't working according to Joerg Handwerg, a pilot for Lufthansa and spokesperson for the pilot's association Cockpit.

"The current controls are foolish, because we waste resources by doing things that feign security but don't actually bring security," Handwerg told Deutsche Welle ...

Read the rest of it here -


http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14741131,00.html


The good news is that we may not need all these expensive full body scanners after all. Moevenort, vat du you zay? Jah?

plasma-jack ütles ...

Can't also resist the urge to post a completely unrelated comment:

The colonization of "German Southwest Africa" occurred along the lines described above: in 1883, the merchant Franz Adolf Eduard Lüderitz signed a contract with the clan leaders of the Herero and one year later the region became a German protectorate. Shortly afterwards, conflicts broke out over land and water rights (mainly in connection with the construction of the Otavi railway), over sexual assaults on Herero women, and over the draconian attempts to convert the locals to Christianity. In 1897, a cattle plague and locust swarms resulted in the loss of almost three quarters of the cattle stock, forcing the Herero to sell their land and to work as hired labour on German farms. The German administration's failure to manage the crisis prompted the Herero uprising in 1904, in the course of which farms and villages were burned down and around 250 German settlers murdered. When the governor, Theodor Leutwein, was unable to quell the uprising, the German Empire sent in an expeditionary corps of around 15 000 men, under the leadership of Lothar von Trotha. After they arrived their plans radicalized and they resolved to wipe out the Herero people.

The following words have been ascribed to von Trotha: "It was and is my policy to carry out violence using crude terrorism and even cruelty. I annihilate the rebel tribes in streams of blood and streams of money. Only from this seed can something new arise." The result was the first genocide of the twentieth century. Up to 80 000 people died; after the battle at Waterberg, troops encircled many Herero in the waterless the Omaheke Steppe, leaving them to die of thirst. Only around 1000 were able to escape, later some fought at the side of the rebelling Nama. [...]In Germany, there is no complementary monument specifically to the memory of German colonial crimes, while there are a whole series of street names that recall Lüderitz and other former colonial heroes.

moevenort ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
moevenort ütles ...

@Linguista: before writing about "some German Zeitschrift" I would recommend you some more information about that "Zeitschrift"- Die Zeit is one of Germany´s best regarded and most influential German newspapers. it is published by former German Chancelor Helmut Schmidt (among others). The last days they also published articles written by chancelor Angela Merkel and Social Democrat Sigmar Gabriel (current German opposition leader). So that´s the newspaper that gives Savisaar the space for a serious interview;)
Obviously someone has to do that as Estonian media is not able to.

about "Die Zeit":

"Die Zeit (German pronunciation: [diː ˈtsaɪt], literally "The Time" or "Times") is a German nationwide weekly newspaper that is highly respected for its quality journalism.[1][2] With a circulation of 488,036 and an estimated readership of slightly above 2 million, it is the most widely read German weekly newspaper. The publishing house, Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius in Hamburg, is owned by the Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and Dieter von Holtzbrinck Media.

The paper is considered to be highbrow.[3] Its political direction is centrist to social democratic, but has oscillated a number of times between slightly left-leaning and slightly right-leaning. Die Zeit is often publishing dossiers, essays, third-party articles and excerpts of lectures of different authors emphasising their points of view on a single aspect or topic in one or in consecutive issues. It is known for its very large physical paper format (Nordisch) and its long and detailed articles."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Zeit

moevenort ütles ...

btw: on the english website of ETV an extraordinary critical comment (for Estonian circumstances) concerning the issue was published:

http://news.err.ee/Politics/887eee95-5a46-49d5-a759-d98717533715

moevenort ütles ...

@ Pimapukk: your German airport story has nothing to do with the topic, but because we are between the holidays I will give you a cake:):

the proposol you mention was not made by a politician, but by an simple executive of an airport company. The proposal was quickly refused yesterday by all Germn political parties as well as by the government. More information about the issue can be found here:

http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/profiling102.html

Let me translate the headline for you:
" Ministry of Justice says: definately no profiling on German airports. Proposal refused entirely by all political parties."

Piimapukk ütles ...

Aw. Too bad. But it is for now. For now. If "they" and you know who I am talking about, sustain the bombings and the rest of the "group" and you know who I am talking about, is giving them silent approval and cover - the politics around this issue will change. Some bad needs to be done for greater good. Flying is a privilege, not a right. People have to prove they are safe. If they will find such hard measures unacceptable, the best way to end the pain is to start turning in your own kind. "They" know where Osama is. Remember that.

And thanks for a cake and you are now free to call me a bigot and a racist the rest of the day. I am all set.

Giustino ütles ...

Swedish money is good. Russian money is bad. It's that simple.

Absolutely. Why would any Estonian journalist, for example, support more Russian influence in Estonian society? Russia is not a free country.

Moevenort, Savisaar is right to talk about poverty in Estonia because it exists. But he will never be prime minister, so he needs, for the benefit of all those poor people, to step down, and let a successor take over.

_nagilum_ ütles ...

@moevenort: you forgot to mention that only the first half of the zeit interview actually dealt with serious political issues - the second half was about savisaar's potatoes and firewood, gave him the chance to talk like the sticky populist he is, and with this he basically made a mock of every bit of serious political comment he had made just a few sentences earlier.

and that's the whole problem. keskerakond might really have a point, their politics might actually be a good idea for estonia. but their soviet behaviour, their way of dealing with problems and doing business is too bluntly revolting. (of course, you'll say, the reform party does the same; they probably do, but they seem to be doing it a lot better than savisaar and his cronies.)

Lingüista ütles ...

Savisaar is right to talk about poverty in Estonia because it exists. But he will never be prime minister, so he needs, for the benefit of all those poor people, to step down, and let a successor take over.
And that, only because of the party politics that you describe in the main post? I remember reading here at some point that there were lots of people -- especially the Russian-speaking Estonians -- who actually believed Savisaar had all the answers. If the poor people of Estonia join forces with them, wouldn't that be enough to pull Edgar up the power hierarchy?

But then again there is this scandal now, and the poor Estonians are probably just as resentful to and afraid of Russia as any other. OK, never mind...

moevenort ütles ...

it becomes even more funny: Baltic Business news is publishing an article now about the interview Savisaar was giving in "Die Zeit". For those ones who do not understand German the chance to get a little bit of its content translated in English:

http://www.balticbusinessnews.com/article/2010/12/29/Savisaar-Estonians-are-paying-a-high-price-for-the-euro

but still: why the hell Die Zeit does not give its space to poor Andrus Ansip?..

moevenort ütles ...

despite all problems, sometimes I really like the German media...

moevenort ütles ...

@Guistino:

You know, what makes the Savisaar interview in "Die Zeit" particular interesting is the timing and the signal it gives. I will tell you something: one development of what we may call postdemocracy is that democracy has (unfortunately) become less about discussion about poitical content and serious issues and more and more about PR and media control. this is what counts ( unfortunately) And this is the only thing guys like Ansip are good at: PR and spindoctoring. from the political content they are doing a lousy business, the just hide it with a lot of smoke and PR. For other positions in such an enviroment it is hard to reach the people via the media, even if they have good or much better arguments. And here comes the point: In giving Savisaar the space in an important large scale publication like Die Zeit that is read all over Europe, people and decison makers in many European countries for the first time can read something else about Estonia than the Ansip-propaganda show. And they can think about it. That is what makes the interview interesting, that is what it is about.

Joshua ütles ...

Hey guys, those posts about german history are quite interesting.

If the urge ever hits again, please don't resist it.

_nagilum_ ütles ...

@moevenort: ligi got his page and a half in the austrian media. ansip, i'm sure, has got better things to do. it's not like the political crème de la crème were queuing to talk to a high-brow german paper like die zeit. especially as the german (and german-language, for that matter) media tend to have a slightly to fairly pro-russian perspective. it comes as no surprise to me that a leftist paper would talk to savisaar - as there are no real social democrats in this country, he's the next best thing.

and to say that ansip and his guys are only about PR is plain silly. in international comparison they don't amount to half of what they think they do, that may be true, they might not be actual european liberals - but they must be doing something right. i'd advise to use a term like "post-democracy" with care. voters will always go for the guy they like best; and if the majority feels like going for either ansip or savisaar, it's up to all the others to figure out what it is they're doing wrong.

@lingüista: you'll forgive me, but i think giustino does have a point. keskerakond has a solid base of estonian voters, and in the past could always count on a neat amount of the so-called undecided. savisaar has never won an election with russian votes only. of hundreds of estonians i've met since i got here, only a handful said they were in favour of keskerakond - everybody else says they detest him. but you can check the statistics, as i have, and you'll find that savisaar couldn't get anywhere near his results without estonian votes. so giustino certainly isn't wrong if he assumes that there might be points of savisaar's the lesser estonians could identify with - and that what's keeping a larger amount of them from voting in keskerakond's favour is indeed the fact that they don't like the party's leader.

plasma-jack ütles ...

full link for Joshua

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Giustino ütles ...

If the poor people of Estonia join forces with them, wouldn't that be enough to pull Edgar up the power hierarchy?

No. Edgar cannot get enough votes to rule alone in parliament, no matter how you cut the electorate, no matter who gets to vote, and he does not have the talent to lead a coalition. If, say, Kalle Laanet, were to become the new leader, then a center-left coalition might be possible. It's not so much about policies or Russia as it is about trust. People don't trust Savisaar.

moevenort ütles ...

@Guistino: and people trust Ansip, the liar? -well done, every people get´s the government they deserves. Estonians deserve liars like Ansip because they obviously want to become betrayed.

plasma-jack ütles ...

You think there are politicians who don't lie? Jeez, gal. How old are you, anyway?

Juhan ütles ...

Whoah.. How did we reach the point where Savisaar, who is probably the most autocratic and corrupt party leader in Estonia, is now considered the beaming light and last hope for democracy? Talk about PR. Sort of reminds me how some people on the left maintain that Soviet invasion in 1940 was a good thing, because it finally managed to end the horrible and bloody reign of Päts.

Lingüista ütles ...

People don't trust Savisaar.
Since I'm not Estonian and my knowledge is external, I'm sort of surprised with this Savisaar guy, who manages to have enthusiastic supporters but also isn't trusted. What's the truth behind all the accusations against him, in you guys's opinion? Was he such a bad boy during Soviet Estonian times, or during independence? What is history going to say about him, in the long run?

Piimapukk ütles ...

Happy New Year! Here is the song I chose to greet you all ...

http://www.reporter.ee/2011/01/01/irma-saaremets-tode-eurost/

Andres ütles ...

The truth about Savisaar? Well, he is a sly fox. He always has some clever comeback that is often unrelated yet impresses his supporters. Keskerakond is maybe a more true representation of the Estonian society than parties like Reform or IRL. There are quite bright chaps like Enn Eesmaa and Aadu Must. And at the same time there are the unfortunate high-rollers with questionable mental capabilities (think Priit Toobal, Olga Sõtnik, Yana Toom) and the trophies (former athletes we never hear about again, etc).

In that way a regular school chef from a small village can better relate to a rather ungroomed woman with crooked teeth telling her that everything is bad on TV. That same person maybe cannot relate to a gentelman in a smart suit boasting about how the inflation criteria of the Maastricht treaty have been fulfilled. The same also with Savisaar possibly. He is a fat rather unattractive man who looks like he eats pork fat for dinner and washes it down with some vodka. So if you're someone from the countryside, or a pensioner or rather badly educated, you might look at such a guy as "your man". That is how I have explained the Keskerakond-fenomen amongst Estonians to myself. And since people who write on Justin's blog don't maybe socialize with such people very often, it might seem that only Russians support Savisaar (with whom they probably socialize just as seldom).

plasma-jack ütles ...

I guess "Berlusconi lite" would be understandable definition for western readers.

Temesta ütles ...

A left wing Berlusconi? :)

moevenort ütles ...

ja, ja..the usual bashing instead of arguments. try something new once in a while, it bores.

Andres ütles ...

Keskerakond IS ALL ABOUT bashing, dude. There are no arguments. That's basically it. That is their agenda! So I do not see your point, muevenort.

moevenort ütles ...

no, it´s about you guys having no arguments and chosing the easy way of bashing instead of discussing the arguments of keskerakond. But I do not wonder: the least thing neoliberals can do is argumentation. its like with all ideologies.

Andres ütles ...

You call me a neoliberal although in the past elections I have voted for the conservatives and the social democrats. Keskerakond is petty in regards of arguments. They play on people's emotions, they are the most populist party in Estonia. I don't care what you say or why you suddenly love them over everything. They are not something a thinking person would choose. And that's it. The fact that Die Zeit chose to make an interview with Savisaar fails to convince me otherwise.

moevenort ütles ...

it goes nothing beyond and easy ideologic world view in simple black and white. Savisaar is the enemy you need just to convince yourself about your own ideology. very poor.

Andres ütles ...

No, you got the wrong guy here, really! I'm not a Reform supporter who panicks at the shadow of Savisaar. Absolutely not. But in the last comment you yourself revealed your black-and-white perception when you presume that I should thus be a supporter of Savisaar. I am not that either. Because although Reform's arguments are shallow, Savisaar is really not a welcome alternative.

moevenort ütles ...

dude, socialdemocrats in Estonia are no social democrats. They are just another kind of neoliberals, its the same like with Tony Blair and his ideologic friends. Would you seriously deny that he is a neoliberal? or look at your smart Sven Mikser guy, the same elitist type. A guy good for some nice elitist parties with all the other elitist guys from some international organizations. but definately not in touch with the people.

Andres ütles ...

What's your issue? Are you a supporter of "from milking woman to president"? In that case, I'm sorry to inform you that the USSR already tried it and they failed. Who in top politics is really "in touch with the people"? And by people you seem to think of the lowest common factor, completely ignoring the more educated lower class and the middle class. This is bolshevik talk from you.

moevenort ütles ...

no my friend, I am just a German Social Democrat who has not forgotten what social democratic means. Just in the tradition of Willy Brandt. He - just to give you an example - was really a top politician who was in touch with the people. far away from being a boshevik or whatever. your irrational fear of an non-existing communist treat is just absurd. like so many things in Estonia.

Andres ütles ...

Okay, I give you the benefit of the doubt. In 3 sentences, sum up what social democracy really means.

moevenort ütles ...

I don´t need some sentences, I just need some words for it: " liberty, equality, fraternity - unity makes strong" - that was the founding slogan of the German Social Democratic Party more than 100 years ago. Its still as valid as 100 years ago.

if you want to have it more concrete, I recommend you as an introduction the list of social achievements of the Willy Brandt government in Germany. you can find it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Brandt

Andres ütles ...

So by the look of the Wikipedia article, Brandt just raised welfare spending a lot and lowered the voting age to 18. Okay, but how can you compare an acting prime minister that superseded a back-minded former Nazi to the Estonian Social Democrats that have never been a big player in government? And then make conclusions about neo-liberalism all of a sudden.

moevenort ütles ...

no, he did a lot more. He changed the climate in the country, he inspired the youth and the whole country. Because he showed the country to what actings a top-social democrat can be able if he takes a social democratic agenda serious and stays in touch with the people. He changed democracy. His most important sentence has been: "Let´s dare more democracy, I want participating citizens, not aphatic tributaries."

concerning welfare state spending: It was a tradition social democratic agenda: improving the living conditions of the majority of the people and stimulating domestic economy at the same time - the total opposite of the things Ansip is doing. and also the total opposite of the ideology people like Sven Mikser or Tony Blair praise.

Andres ütles ...

Yeah, "let's dare more democracy", "we can", etc. It's PR, Ilves started with the same stuff and is now getting a bit weary. Well, things for the majority of Estonians have gotten better in the past years, I dare to say. So I doubt even Ansip wants to see everyone shiver in poverty. And don't forget that Mikser came from Keskerakond. And Keskerakond is essentially a liberal party, so he must be more social democrat than Keskerakond. Furthermore, it's not really right to judge parties unless they have led a ruling coalition in my opinion (or at least been large enough players in one). Thus I will dismiss your comments about the Social Democrats.

moevenort ütles ...

concerning the democratic agenda and the connection to Estonia: I think its is comparable at same point. Because at the moment Estonia´s standard of democracy is somehow comparable with the standard West Germany had in the 1950s: democracy is reduced to elections, no broad participation is taking place, most people follow things rather aphatic. That was also the situation before Brandt became chancelor.

moevenort ütles ...

no, for Brandt it was not PR. That was the difference. He took it serious and his actions were the same as his words. Historians in Germany say that he was probably the only chancelor of West Germany who was no power- politician like the others but rather a pragmatic idealist. and that was a good thing. he was the most popular democratic politician Germany ever had.

moevenort ütles ...

lets have a look at the fact: all social democrats in Estonia have done was participation in rather right winged governments. They have never done something else than participation in an entirely neoliberal agenda. So I measure Estonian Social Democrats on the work they have done. And this work was the opposite of being social democrat.

moevenort ütles ...

btw: I would see Keskerakond more in the tradition of a social liberal party. And it´s a legitimate way. social-.liberal movements have a long European tradition. Only if this sounds strange for some Estonian, it does not mean that it sounds strange for people in Western Europe. For them Keskerakond´s agenda sound pretty normal and according to all social welfare state traditions in Europe. May be some Estonians should instead review their own positions once in a while to have a look if their neoliberal "sonderweg" is really according to European tradition.

Andres ütles ...

Interesting from a historical point of view, I guess. But nothing really useful for Estonia. Societies evolve, people have to figure stuff out for themselves. Prior experience by someone else is never good enough. Maybe Germany needed such a push back then, maybe Estonia needs it now too. But that requires people to come to that concensus. We cannot most probably do everything like the Germans did, because our history and view on life is somewhat different, I guess. Also, there is no sure way to say that Germany did it best. Haven't you guys turned away from the social democrats lately?

So to sum it up, I view society more as evolution than revolution and there probably isn't any silver bullet that will universally work. Let's see where Estonia's evolution will lead us.

moevenort ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Andres ütles ...

I think you have had a very biased look on Estonia. Sure, there might be fatalism, maybe even more amongst Russians, but there are also idealistic people. At least I have met them. Sure, maybe you won't find them everywhere, but you can probably say the same about every country. Look around universities, in theatres. I believe that there are people who want to make a difference. And step by step they probably will.

But you know what most definitely won't make a difference? Being bitchy and whiny all the time and concentrating on stuff you CANNOT do instead of stuff you can. That pretty accurately seems to describe your experience with Estonia. To your Russian friend you could say that changing the system always works from the inside. Being radical about stuff only ever works if you're really really lucky or you have guns to support you.

Oh, and I don't know where you get this image of all Estonians being sympathetic about Nazis (I know, probably from Russian media or from bitter Russians) but you are greatly mistaken, sir.

Temesta ütles ...

"Also, there is no sure way to say that Germany did it best. Haven't you guys turned away from the social democrats lately?"

Not so long ago the German social democrats even turned away from themselves. The government of Gerhard Schröder (a coalition of social democrats and greens) produced the most neoliberal reforms in Western Europe since the days of Tatcher, laying the foundations for Germany's present economic success.

Temesta ütles ...

"So I doubt even Ansip wants to see everyone shiver in poverty."

I think the problem is not that Ansip wants to see people shiver in poverty but that he doesn't care (at least not enough) about people living in poverty.

moevenort ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
moevenort ütles ...

@ Temesta: it´s unbelievable how much myths and propaganda is flying around in such a small country...

lets bring some facts instead: yes, the leaderschip of the German Social democrats has given up social democracy in the 1990s. It indeed began wit Gerhard Schröder. But have you ever noticed what has become of that "nice" idea? The first consequence was the struggle between Gerhard Schröder and Oskar Lafontaine, who tried to defend social democratic values. The result was a split of the party and Schröder (trough his nice neoliberal reforms) became the most disliked chancelor Germany ever had. The social democrats in Germany lost 50% of the members and milions of voters. interested in a comparison? During the chancelorship of Willy Brandt the Social democrats reached their best voting result in German history, more than 45%. In 2009, after the chancelorship of Gerhard Schröder they reached not even 23% anymore. That was the result of Gerhard Schröder, dudes. He was the biggest traitor in the history of german social democracy and he has ruined his party.

concerning Schröders neoliberlal "reforms": these "reforms" are the most hated policy issues in German history. According to all available survey data up to 80% of German voters refuse every little piece of it. To say that these "reforms" were laying the foundation for "Germany´s present economic success is either the crown of stupidity coming out of a a small backward country or just a big lie. Makes neoliberal ideologie so blind that it becomes impossible to see realities anymore? tell me, who benefited from Schröders neoliberal reforms in Germany? some big cooperations? the majority of the people definately not, for them life became a lot harder. open your eyes a litte dude! - oh, how much I hate so much stupidity.

Lingüista ütles ...

Hey, moevenort... You know there are other blogs, right? You don't have to stay here if you're bored. Hey, you could even start a Savisaar fanclub blog! Now wouldn't that be a good way to spend your free time?

Come on, have a go!

moevenort ütles ...

@Linguista: one again bashing instead of arguments? shut up or begin to use your brain, everything else bores.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, the essential thing about social democracy is that it is a great compromise. All Western countries are in effect social democracies, even the USA (even if barely). The compromise was with capitalism which was allowed to flourish relatively freely within the framework of welfare structures. So, actually, market economy was (and is) the essential foundation of any social democratic society. The current problems arise from the liberalization of the movement of capital and the general deregulation of the 80's and 90's - capitalist structures in effect got to be so dynamic, so succesful that they do not any more really need the compromise (welfare states were born from the horrors of the WW2 and Great Depression when capitalist economies were almost toppled by hostile forces).

But welfare states are still totally dependent on the economic system that gives less and less to those social structures and safety nets that keep the playing field relatively level. Shortsighted market players are taking the society towards a less dynamic direction. The Western societies are gradually stratifying and social mobility is slowly decreasing, a permanent, increasingly hereditary upper class is forming along with a permanent, increasingly hereditary underclass and the great middle is becoming increasingly squeezed between the two. An interesting, if depressing, dynamic.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Stockholm Slender: an analysis which also could be written from Karl Marx personally. So Marx was right in his analysis as an economist?

Piimapukk ütles ...

to stockholm slender -

You are right about the rich and poor. Remember the line from Bruce Springsteens "Atlantic City"

" ... Down here is just winners and losers. Don't get caught on the wrong side of that line ..."

We are all in Atlantic City now.

moevenort ütles ...

obviously people in other countries are not as fatalistic but still able to defend their rights. e.g. this guy here in the uk:
"If Bob Crow were a business leader, he would probably be celebrated as a great British success story. Since taking charge in 2002 he has increased the profits of his shareholders year on year, even through the most testing of economic times, while expanding his business by 50%. By nearly any measure you care to choose, Crow is far and away the most successful leader in his field. And yet he is widely regarded as a national disaster."

the difference: this guy is the leader of the most succesful trade union in the uk and not a business leader- the pure contrary of Estonian fatalism:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/dec/13/bob-crow-strikes-rmt-union

Lingüista ütles ...

But moevenort (= seagull-place?), it was you who taught me to do that!... Why shouldn't I entertain myself by observing the cuteness of your behavior?

@ stockholm slender, it seems you fear it is all going to be panem et circenses again. I'm not sure the picture is so dark; I don't see less mobility now than there was, say, 20, 30 or 40 years ago. Especially in the computer and knowledge industry, where so many people went up the social hierarchy by having the right ideas at the right moment; and in many areas of academia, the meritocracy seems to continue valid: people who do good research go up, regardless of their original social stratum.

moevenort ütles ...

because someone was asking here for some honoest poiticians with backbone, here is another example:

"Midterms 2010 California election result: Jerry Brown triumphs over Meg Whitman's millions. Brown regains seat he first held in the 1970s, despite former eBay CEO Whitman throwing $160m on the race"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/03/california-election-result-jerry-brown

plasma-jack ütles ...

Bloomberg: Estonia’s adoption of the euro may bolster a German-influenced faction on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council that’s pushing for more government austerity in member states, analysts said.

moevenort ütles ...

@ plasma-jack: you don´t get it, isn´t it? people like you will always be catched in your small elitist information bubble. what reference some idiotic business article or bloomberg shit for the opinion of the people? I already told you the facts and every survey you can find proves it: what the merkel-gobernment wants is not what the majority of the German citizen want. the contrary is the case. again: how much stupidity is possible?

Temesta ütles ...

@ Moevenort:

"@ Temesta: it´s unbelievable how much myths and propaganda is flying around in such a small country..."

"To say that these "reforms" were laying the foundation for "Germany´s present economic success is either the crown of stupidity coming out of a a small backward country or just a big lie. "

What small country do you mean? I was born and live in a small country that shares borders with Germany and we have a much more generous welfare system than Germany!

plasma-jack ütles ...

how much stupidity is possible?

be it Nazism or social democracy, you Germans do have a habit telling small, backward nations how they should live and doing it in the most annoying way, don't you? I mean, that's basically the same stuff my grandmother used to hear from Baltic barons. No, we peasants never have seemed to learn from you.

Personal insight: I read Wikileaks. I read Infoshop, too! And the worst Estonian coalition I can remember was when Kallas and Savisaar decided that they're friends. You know, like fellow liberal democrats that ruled the country together for a while? That's what they said, in essence it was a reign of pure awfulness. Sven Mikser as a defense minister did good, though.

plasma-jack ütles ...

they even have a wiki article in German on Kallas's government. How is that different from SDE cooperating with Ref?

moevenort ütles ...

"be it Nazism or social democracy, you Germans do have a habit telling small, backward nations how they should live and doing it in the most annoying way, don't you? I mean, that's basically the same stuff my grandmother used to hear from Baltic barons. No, we peasants never have seemed to learn from you."

not again the old " oh we are such a poor victim" of evil big coiunries" story again, I already know it and it bores. it´s your standard- sentence to avoid every kind of criticism. the problem is just: it won´t help you out of your problems.

stockholm slender ütles ...

About Marx, I think he would not have been able to foresee the emergence of the welfare state as a compromise between labour and capital. If I remember correctly he quite mistakenly forecasted that conditions will only get worse before the "inevitable" revolution (that was never supposed to happen in a peasant society such as Russia). He would not be so amazed about the recent instability of the pact due to the dynamic nature of market forces. In a way social democrats are victims of their success: they created such a safe and stable society that it was deemed safe to liberate the markets even more. This will probably end in tears now, but it's always easy to see things afterwards. At the time the liberalization seemed like a natural return to normalcy.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Sure. Your whining, however, will. But it's time to somebody else feed you.

plasma-jack ütles ...

my last comment was meant to go with it won´t help you out of your problems. oh well..

just another helpful message: I'm one of the few Estonian posters here. Temesta, Linguista and stockholm slender for example aren't Estonians, although, in contrast to you, they don't use that word as an insult, either.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, to be honest, I find moevenort quite racistic. It is not a pretty sight to see whole groups of people labeled negatively based only on their ethnicity/nationality... I wonder where he would have been were he born in 1915! Anyway, not nice at all - try to mend your way, moevenort.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Stockholm slender

again bashing instead of arguments? try something else please, I can reasure you that my thinking is definately more democratic than yours will ever been. In contrast to you I know from my own experience how it is to fight for democratic rights, my parents took me to East German revolution demonstrations when I was a small child already in 1989. I would doubt that you ever had demonstrate personally for the democratic rights you probably take for so much normal.

and btw: your assesment of current Globalisation processes is damm apathic and fatalistic. It is exactly that kind of tributative behaviour I mean. It´s like looking to the head of the dragon ans saying" Oh my god, what shall I do", while the dragon continues destructions. it´s quite poor, don´t you think?

Temesta ütles ...

@ Moevenort:

"again bashing instead of arguments?"

Who's bashing here? You call Estonia 'backward' and opinions that contradict your own you refer to as 'stupidity'. Please don't be such a hypocrite.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Temesta: well, in contrast to you I at least work with facts and arguments instead of repeating phrases and propaganda bubbles. it´s may be the diffenrence in education? you know, here people in familie, school and university learn to distrust media bubbles and think for themselves instead of parroting phrases like in Soviet Estonia in the past and in present Ansip Estonia now.

moevenort ütles ...

btw: be sure, I`m definately by far not the only one who describes the current state of democracy in Estonia as backward. believe me, I know a lot of people ( Germans, French, Estonians or members of the Russian community in Estonia) who say exactly the same. I mean have a look at realities, it is backward.
Personally I would see the state of democracy there as somehow comparable to a strange mix of authoritarian Adenauer-germany in the 1950s and the authoritarian East german state in the 1950s. But that´s more or less the level of democracy in Estonia right now.

Temesta ütles ...

@ Moevenort:

"well, in contrast to you I at least work with facts and arguments instead of repeating phrases and propaganda bubbles."

Maybe you can continue to to work with facts and arguments but minus the bashing and the insults? Maybe your arguments would have more impact then. Now people who might otherwise agree with you are put off because of your style.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Moevenort, I can only say, mend your trollish ways! I don't want to "bash" you, but it is quite obvious that you don't write here in good faith or will, so certain negativity cannot be helped. In fact one only wonders where you get your opinions from - they certainly do have a second hand quality to them. This is said quite sternly but in the hope that you can find it in yourself to write more civilly and constructively in the future!

Lingüista ütles ...

Stockholm slender, it's not that Moevenort (= seagull-place) is really racist; no, I think he is truly a progressive. Rather, it's his incapacity of seeing any truth in what others say; his insistence in repeating a criticism long after its good aspects have been understood and incorporated in others' vision; his belief that others are blind that sets him apart as a traitor to the very progressive ideals he espouses, I think.

Compare him with Joshua, who is also himself very critical of many aspects of Estonian society, but without Moevenort's single-minded insistence. (One really is struck by it. It does feel as if Moevenort had been dumped by an Estonian girlfriend or something like that.)

It's this curious belief that somehow there should be nothing for him to learn in the opinion of people who were born and bread in Estonia, or who come from Estonian families.

Plus, of course, the strategy of simply dismissing things. When plasma-jack accused him of traditional German arrogance, he dismissed it out loud. Logically he is correct: one can in principle be German, criticize the Baltic states, and be correct. But the arrogant language in which he couched this thought is so much in agreement with plasma-jack's criticism that one cannot but find it very cute. A 'performance contradiction' as it were.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Back to the topic of Estonian politics. The campaign has started and EPL's editorial quotes the slogans of three parties. Pardon my bad English but here comes the translation:
"You can count on us!"(Võid kindel olla, Ref), "Victory guaranteed!" (Kindel võit, IRL) and "Enough!" (Aitab, Kesk).

"It's difficult to avoid sarcasm", the newspaper continues, "when the party, under whose leadership Estonia lost almost a fifth of its prosperity in a couple of years and achieved a high level of employment, is now assuring that you can count on it. And it's hard not to smirk when the party who used to say that money doesn't bring happiness is now advocating gratuitous higher education, the system of mother pension and lowering the expences involved in owning a house. And we'd like to know who should be convinced by slogan "Enough!" uttered by the party whose leaders' recurrent financing scandals have worn the patience of the rest of the society really thin."
That's quite a good way to put it in my view.
(SDE haven't started campaign yet and therefore is spared)

plasma-jack ütles ...

achieved a high level of employment

high level of UNEMPLOYMENT, of course.

Meelis ütles ...

"and the authoritarian East German state in the 1950s."
Really very interesting. What has Estonia common with East Germany of 1950?

Temesta ütles ...

""It's difficult to avoid sarcasm", the newspaper continues, "when the party, under whose leadership Estonia lost almost a fifth of its prosperity in a couple of years and achieved a high level of employment, is now assuring that you can count on it."

Actually the strategy from Reform is not so stupid. First they deliberately nearly wrecked the Estonian economy and then (supposedly) laid the foundations for its recovery. The short-sighted public only remembers the latter and now they appear to be very good policymakers. :)
Seriously, suppose that Estonia would only have gone through a minor recession, would Reform be so popular now?

plasma-jack ütles ...

Don't forget that Reform got the most votes in its history in spring 2007 when the bubble was the biggest. So I think they are popular despite the recession, but they won't get as many votes again (or so I hope). Interestingly, an online survey among EPL's readers (an audience arguably a bit more left-liberal than average) shows that most popular ministers are Parts, Lukas and Aaviksoo - all of them from IRL, not reform. Jänes, the minister of culture, was the most unpopular in that survey.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Since Rahvaliit and probably Greens as well are out of the picture, the outcome is surprisingly hard to predict. Right now, all the other four seem to expect winning more seats (and maybe they all will), so the party that fails to do that would be the real loser.

Piimapukk ütles ...

Don't you just love the internet!? You can have a fight anytime with anyone without even knowing them. And then when you emerge from your dungeon of violence and torture to join the family at the dinnner table, nobody there notices your black eye or bruised ego.

In the olden times chances were that you'd had to walk in a cast for weeks after a good fight.


New generation takes this for granted.


Think about it if Hitler had internet back then, we probably would have never had WWII.

He might have just settled with his insanely high scores on the Call of Duty or GTA.

moevenort ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
moevenort ütles ...

ps:

plastic world - http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/colony-5-plastic-world/ySfT_mpVA9fSSugaGa22rA

tartuense ütles ...

No need to put much attention to moevenort. His ideas, even if they could have a very slight chance of offering anything new, are lost in his hate. Indeed, what he writes against Estonia could be just as easily directed against the US, or even Germany. The world is not ideology. By definition, Estonia is a less capitalistic place then Germany since there is less money here.

Returning to the truly interesting topics, I really liked Abduy Turay's article in the largest Estonian newspaper on Estonian political parties.
http://estoniatoday.blogspot.com/2010/12/parempoolne-on-oige-right-is-right-by.html
It would be good for people to read it (hint, please read it moevenort).

plasma-jack ütles ...

Margus Tsahkna makes a lovely impression of a moron: "we need to be more right wing, although education needs to be cheaper or whatever"

moevenort ütles ...

", I really liked Abduy Turay's article in the largest Estonian newspaper on Estonian political parties.
http://estoniatoday.blogspot.com/2010/12/parempoolne-on-oige-right-is-right-by.html"

well, and exactly this is the difference. Because I would guess that the cultural gap nowhere in Europe is bigger than between East Germany and Estonia. We are the exact opposite of you and that leaves not much space to talk with each other. Because that´s East Germany 2010 according to opinion poll data:

"Nowhere is this new leftward trend more apparent than in Germany, home to the meteoric rise of Die Linke ("The Left"), a political grouping formed only 18 months ago - and co-led by the veteran socialist "Red" Oskar Lafontaine, a long-standing scourge of big business. The party, already the main opposition to the Christian Democrats in eastern Germany, has made significant inroads into the vote for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in elections to western parliaments this year, gaining representation in Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Hesse. Die Linke's unapologetically socialist policies, which include the renation alisation of electricity and gas, the banning of hedge funds and the introduction of a maximum wage, chime with a population concerned at the dismantling of Germany's mixed economic model and the adoption of Anglo-Saxon capitalism - a shift that occurred while the SPD was in government. An opinion poll last year showed that 45 per cent of west Germans (and 57 per cent of east Germans) consider socialism "a good idea"; in October, another poll showed that Germans overwhelmingly favour nationalisation of large segments of the economy. Two-thirds of all Germans say they agree with all or some of Die Linke's programme."

http://www.newstatesman.com/europe/2008/12/socialist-party-socialism


so abbout what should we talk? most East Germans strongly refuse everything you like so much. and indeed, also myself, being more or less moderate for East German circumstances (being a social democrat and not voting for the left party) see not the slightest point where I could learn anything from Estonia. As the majority of my fellow citizen I also refuse every little piece of the things you like so much. Because is Estonia is indeed ( and not just virtually) the most neoliberal place in whole Europe. And indeed, there is nothing I condemn more than these perverted neoliberal ideas. they are just inhuman.

moevenort ütles ...

btw: my refusal of this ideology becomes even stronger when I see shit like this:

http://news.err.ee/Economy/a856009a-8783-4a6d-8d23-dbf0f8bb6a6f

I would everyone here recommend to have a look at this interview. guys like this one are just perverse and asocial - I`m sorry, there are no other words for it. How the hell Estonian public broadcasting company can seriously give a perverse idiot like this guy giving the space to spread so much cynical and inhuman shit?

Mart ütles ...

moevenort, you keep bringing up things with no factual basis.
About the financing of Reform party by Swedish connections –you need to back it up with some references, I’m afraid, because for an “open secret” there are no sources I could find on this.
Also, this seems hypocritical. Taking money from Russia – a literal mafia state, as you have admitted before – is in no way comparable of taking money from Sweden. Why did you even bring it up?
Why would you call KaPo Stasi-like? Elaborate on this, please.
About comparing German and Estonian media, may I point out (again) that the media freedom in Estonia is even better than in Germany. So would you please drop the misconception that Estonian media is dominated by the government PR – because it simply isn’t true.
About trust – when considering shady deals with Russia, I think there are a few politicians at the moment who are less trustworthy than Savisaar on the matter.
Again, you will have to elaborate on what you mean by “more participation”. How would you quantify this? Civil and political rights in Estonia are well-protected by any metric I am able to find.
Since you brought up the agenda of Keskerakond – have you actually read it? I am asking because you seem to claim to know what their policies are.
About the victim angle – it is undeniable that a lot of policies in Estonia are shaped by the memory of crimes against humanity committed during the German and Soviet occupations and the repression of human rights during the Soviet occupation up until the restoration of independence. This nation has suffered much and you could try not to mock the fact.
If you bring up East-German protests in 1989, I would like to say that I took part of the Baltic Way with my parents at the same time, so what would that show?
And you don’t seem to realize (I think it has also been pointed out before) that most of the people here aren’t Estonians. I am, but I would appreciate if you could post without deliberately insulting others.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Mads Michael ütles ...

@Moevenort: I read the article you linked to.
Thanks for revealing your own perception of democracy (quote: "How the hell Estonian public broadcasting company can seriously give a perverse idiot like this guy giving the space to spread so much cynical and inhuman shit?")
So because you despise what he says, he shouldn't have access to the media. Well, I don't think your East German perception of democracy is the one to teach to Estonia...

plasma-jack ütles ...

Since I'm not Estonian and my knowledge is external, I'm sort of surprised with this Savisaar guy, who manages to have enthusiastic supporters but also isn't trusted. What's the truth behind all the accusations against him, in you guys's opinion? Was he such a bad boy during Soviet Estonian times, or during independence? What is history going to say about him, in the long run?

I found something just for you, Lingüista. read this if you haven't already. Hvostov is imho one of the brightest pencils in Estonian media (he's also a leftie, if it helps to convince the more uncompromising readers among us to actually read the article)

moevenort ütles ...

"I found something just for you, Lingüista. read this if you haven't already. Hvostov is imho one of the brightest pencils in Estonian media (he's also a leftie, if it helps to convince the more uncompromising readers among us to actually read the article)"

have already linked it in this post long ago;9 - so nothing new. but it is indeed a quite accurate description about all that ideologic stuff behind it. and I am still convinced: Estonian neoliberals need Savisaar to convince themselves of their own narrow world view.

Doris ütles ...

I agree, moevenort, as soon as Savisaar goes away, the rest of the parties can start evolving into normal, healthy (or, well, healthier in any case, we are talking about politics, after all) multi-faceted parties. Even Keskerakond might come up with some reasonable ideas that won't cause a gag-reflex in everyone else :P

Piimapukk ütles ...

Moevenort, I read the article on err you were complaining about. If you protest against what he was saying, you might be a communist.

moevenort ütles ...

"Moevenort, I read the article on err you were complaining about. If you protest against what he was saying, you might be a communist.

oh yea, this phrase again - "the evil communist foreign forces are threatening poor little Estonia because they dare to critizise the ideology we adore so much. they must be communists of course" bla, bla. I already know that reflex as well. so re-open witch hunting again? nothing new for you I guess.

ok, let´s dare some arguments for your brain.

1. this "interview was nothing more than a pure propaganda show for a lobbyist who could use the space to spread as much lies and propaganda as he wanted. Have you seen there any critical question from the ETV journalist? no? me neither. normally asking critical question would be his damm duty if he would take serious his job. but not this wanna be jorunalist guy. all he did was throwing key words to the lobbyist who could easily react on them. not a single critical question. this you call independent jorunalism in Estonia? I call it the pure contrary, it´s a biased propaganda show.

2. do you know how lobyism works? the idea behind is " well, lets repeat our propaganda again and again, regardless how much lies we spread. if we repeat the propaganda often enough, people will sooner or later believe what we say, regardless how much lies we spread.
this is exactly what this guy has done - and ETV gave him a platform.

3. there would have been a lot of space for critical questions in this interview. for example, why this lobyist speaks about people not as human beings but more as wanna be slaves with whom he can calculate for his workforce. or the journalist could be proven his remark wrong that any west european country would adore Estonia´s flat tax system. because these are so simple lies that they are more than easy to dismantle for any qualified journalist. but obviously not for ETV.

again, is this independent journalism Estonian style?

Temesta ütles ...

"Moevenort, I read the article on err you were complaining about. If you protest against what he was saying, you might be a communist."

Since when does being in favour of progressive taxation equal being a communist?

plasma-jack ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
plasma-jack ütles ...

have already linked it in this post long ago

my bad, might have accidentally scrolled over most of your comments for some reason

Temesta ütles ...

From the interview:

"I know it might sound ridiculous to talk about a labor shortage when you have 18 percent unemployment. But we should understand that this figure is marked by a large group of people who in the past chose not to pursue further education, but rather stepped into construction or other unsustainable easy money jobs that were available in the boom period."

How nice to blame ordinary people for stepping into 'easy money jobs' when even Estonia's elite didn't see the bubble growing, blinded by high growth rates and easy profits made in the real estate market.

moevenort ütles ...

"How nice to blame ordinary people for stepping into 'easy money jobs' when even Estonia's elite didn't see the bubble growing, blinded by high growth rates and easy profits made in the real estate market."

exactly.

moevenort ütles ...

it´s funny: proud to get the Euro, but not having even the money to feed the animals in the zoo of Tallinn anymore. is this where the neoliberal wonder leads to?

here the story:

http://news.err.ee/videos/5eb0dbc5-3e05-480f-b22e-1e5a92084c45

Piimapukk ütles ...

The article on Savisaar was excellent. Never thought of the darker meaning of "Koit". This wherewolves analogy - simply brilliant. I am one of them werewolves too then, I guess. Deny I may, but the fact remains, that I was once a member of a Young Communist Leaque too. And a pioneer and an "October-child".

As for the Tallinn zoo - this death camp should be abolished.

Flat tax - not my problem. Let them poor people eat cake, if they so hungry. Eh-eh.

Mads Michael ütles ...

I wonder if and how much support the centre party would loose, if Savisaar stepped down? Some voices within the party even had said that it could fall apart. Hard to understand why they as one of the biggest parties in Estonia would be so dependant on one person.

Joshua ütles ...

Speaking of estonian politics, does anyone else find IRL's stand on free college education surprisingly leftist?

Oh, it's there in Abdul's article already? So I didn't say anything new? Damn.

That's one good article.

You see people, you can actually be a marxist freedom fighter in Estonia, as long as you pretend it's right-wing.

You just can't barge through the door, wearing a "Marx Rules!" t-shirt and say you're going to dekulakize the place now. You have to do things properly. Be smart about things. First win a few Friedman Liberty awards. We like to feel right-wing about our socialism here, so serve it to us in a right way.

I must say, estonian politics seem much more clearer when analyzed by a foreigner, as foreigners seem more at home in distinguishing between different political ideologies. Things that in my opinion, most estonians aren't very knowledgable of.

But that's one of the topics I've discussed with my friends lately. Do (young) estonians have a lai silmaring or not?* I don't think it translates to wide eyecircle, and I honestly don't know the equivalant expression in english so I left it untranslated.

* Especially when it comes to ideologies. For example, did you know that modern universities are actually marxist feminazi training camps, where they are training young unsuspecting males into nice beta providers for the crazy neurotic liberated girls who find self-empowerement in blowing some random jerks, but you're there to give them a hug afterwards and raise their kids, because women are victims, and then they divorce you and you have to pay for the rest of your life for kids that aren't even your own OMG it's true I swear!!

I think I overdosed on something today.

Piimapukk ütles ...

The idea is to try your best to position yourself to be one of those "random jerks" and the whole world order and the history of mankind will suddenly make sense.

Savisaar has done just that. In that sense he is a much better man than me and he deserves everything he has. For I still have to hold my own umbrella, if you know what I mean.

Mart ütles ...

moevenort, I see that you have not replied to me and you have again brought up the issue of media bias in Estonia. Please refer to the point I made about the freedom of media in Estonia.

About the Zoo of Tallinn: it belongs to the City of Tallinn and receives its money from the City budget. The ruling party in Tallinn is Keskerakond.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Mart: I think my argument was cleary structured, so there should be no problem to understand it. Additionally I can just recommend you to have a look at the academic literature concering the difficulties of cross- country rankings in the field of press freedom. Of particular interest is a publication of Prof. Sabine Holz-Bacha, University of Mainz. She especially criticizes the "freedom of the press" index, anually published by Freedom House. Her argument is that this index is culturally bias, following an purely american understanding of press freedom. So for example countries like Sweden or Norway there get minus points because they use state subsidies to finance newspapers. In swedish or norwegian understanding this is something to ensure variety of the press and make them independent from big media cooperations. In the eyes of Freedom House every state influence is something evil. so, naturally in their view the american media market with its domination of four big media tycoon cooperations is seen as more "democratic" than the swedish with much more variety. A clear cultural bias, just to give you an example

moevenort ütles ...

@ Mart: additionally, there is also more general criticism on the methods of media rankings:

"„international comparisons have to deal with considerable methodological

problems. A particular difficulty lies in the collection of adequate data. In order to be
valid, cross country comparisons have to be based on comparable data for the countries

included. If such data do exist at all, their availability is not guaranteed, particularly when
a sensitive issue as freedom of the press is being addressed. More problems originate

from language barriers and the cultural bias that each individual researcher brings
along. Therefore, international comparisons are dependent on a high degree of external
support which again carries the potential for inconsistencies between data and in

interpreting the data. ... Particularly if a large number of countries is involved, comparisons require quantitative
research methods. However, the more countries are included, the coarser will be the
examination of the individual country, necessarily leading to loss of detail. Therefore, the
attractiveness of taking into consideration a multitude of countries is bought at the price
of neglecting details that may be important for interpretation. As a consequence, the
challenge is to develop a measure for press freedom to be used for international
comparisons. This raises the question of what the essential factors of press freedom are
and how these can be measured across continents."

source: Sabine Holz-Bacha: What is `good` press freedom? The difficulty of measuring freedom of the press worldwide, Mainz 2004

moevenort ütles ...

so lesson for today: don´t waste your time in believing too blind in any statistics without asking questions;) -normally basic knowledge, told in the first semester at each university ( at least here)

moevenort ütles ...

@ Mart, concerning the Tallinn Zoo: I hope you are not as stupid to tell me that the financial situation has nothing to do with the economic and fiscal policy on the national level? Of course it would be easy for guys like you: just say it´s a local problem and deny any responsibility of the government. From which PR-/ spindoctoring course you have learned stuff like this?

Mart ütles ...

moevenort, it seems that you don't read your own sources all that thoroughly. The article you mentioned criticizes Freedom House and names Reporters without Borders as the most accurate. The latter is, of course, the one I was referring to - this could have been deducted from the reference I made with regards to Germany (Freedom House lists Estonia and Germany as on par, while the difference in Reporters without Borders is more pronounced).

About the zoo - this is a simple question of budget management. The budget of City of Tallinn for 2011 has gone up compared with the budget of 2010 and is now comparable with the budget of 2009. On the other hand, the amount allocated to the zoo has not changed and has not reached the amount it was in 2009. Should the government force the city to spend more on the zoo?

Also, it seems to me that you are trying to insult me again. Do you really find that necessary?

Piimapukk ütles ...

Maybe it is all makes sense because Estonia is a Culture Capital of Europe for 2011, not some Animal Lovers Capital or something ... You budget for what your immediate needs are. Weren't the fireworks grand this year? Right?

http://etv.err.ee/arhiiv.php?id=113209 (scroll to 48:23)

plasma-jack ütles ...

Martin Schulz from EP optimistically forecasts that SDE will be in next government (link in Estonian)

saare-snowqueen ütles ...

Go Plasma-jack! I've lived on Saaremaa since I arrived in Estonia in 1997 and have known Kalle fro most of that time. The best thing that coulld happen to Estonia would be a Keskerakond led by Kalle Laanet.

Yah, we islanders ARE different.