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Estonian report Estonian report
by Euro Reporter
2011-07-21 10:34:05
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Estonian wind farm taps GE for turbines

Estonian wind energy providers this week tapped GE for 18 turbines to outfit what will be one of the biggest wind farms in the Baltic region. The state-owned electric utility Eesti Energia and the private company Nelja Energia are building the Paldiski wind farm in Estonia's Harju County. It's situated on the Pakri Peninsula, which juts far out into the wind-swept Baltic Sea. The new wind farm, which is expected to be completed next year, will add 45 megawatts of electric energy to the Estonian grid and significantly expand the country's installed capacity of 142 megawatts.

It's part of the Estonian government's initiative to expand the country's renewable energy supply and lessen its dependence on Russia for energy supplies. Eesti Energia is also seeking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through the expansion of wind power. Including the $46.6 million Paldiski project, roughly 570 megawatts of wind energy projects are being developed in Estonia.

The deal with GE includes nine turbines each for Eesti Energia and Nelja Energia, which is co-owned by Norwegian power company Vardar Eurus, the Estonian investment fund Freenergy AS and the Estonian companies Solarcom OU and Atradius OU. Stephan Ritter, general manager of GE Renewable Energy Europe, said in a statement the hardware will include 18 GE 2.5-megawatt turbines.

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Nazi-invasion commemoration ignites row


The Jewish community of Viljandi in Estonia has expressed its disapproval of an event staged on Thursday in which residents of the city commemorated its “liberation” by the German army from Soviet occupation in June 1941. Several dozen attended a commemoration service at the city’s German military cemetery for the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion. The event was organized by the Estonian Sakala Soldiers Association. “The usual attempt to portray people who collaborated with the Nazi occupational regime as ‘warriors against Bolshevism,’ and furthermore on the day when the mass murder of the citizens of Viljandi and Estonia who belonged to the ‘wrong’ ethnicity began...appears completely idiotic,” Ala Jacobsen, chairwoman of the Estonian Jewish community, said in a statement on Thursday.

Jaanika Kressa, one of the event organizers, told the Sakala newspaper of Viljandi that “the arrival of the Germans is considered the liberation of Estonia, because it was saved from the order introduced in June 1940, when about ten thousand people were deported to Siberia and the local people were impoverished. The situation of the Estonians became normal again.”

The Wiesenthal Center’s Israel director and Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff said that Kressa’s statement was “a malicious revision of the sad reality of Estonian history and a heartless affront to the memory of the Estonian Jews murdered by the Nazis and their local collaborators. If the leaders of the ‘Union of Estonian Soldiers’ believe that the mass murder of innocent Jews is ‘a normal situation,’ they belong in jail or in a mental asylum.” Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in June 1940, a result of the August 1939 nonaggression agreement signed between Nazi Germany and the USSR, known as the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact. On June 22, 1941, the German army invaded the Soviet Union occupying huge areas including Estonia.

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Politics should not be done in the streets


This was a key phrase which the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves stated during his visit to Georgia as he proclaimed the international support of the country. This is an essential element of a democratic country, but do we comply with this sentence? Until recently, most of the politics in Georgia has been done in the streets. The Estonian President made this statement in relation to the May 26 events in Tbilisi. According to him, the discussions among the politicians should move from the streets and into the parliament. He made this statement during his meeting with opposition leaders after listening to their complaints about anti democratic actions in Georgia. This phrase of the Estonian President highlighted the essential program of Georgian democracy today. There is a parliament in Georgia, in which there are some opposition representatives. These representatives make critical statements, however these do not facilitate any discussion.

The ruling political party in the parliament enjoys a constitutional majority, so it can very tolerantly listen to the opposition's remarks, suggestions and criticism but during the voting can decide to ignore it all.  It is interesting that the current ruling party came to power from the street through revolution albeit a rose coloured one. The Rose revolution administration came to power through removing President Shevardnadze and his administration even though many of those who performed the revolution against Shevardnadze's rule had been promoted and invited into politics by Shevardnadze personally. There are certain allegations that Shevardnadze invited them to power in Georgia after the bloody coup d’état early in the 90s. Nobody doubts the essence of the Estonian President’s words. It is an ideal situation when there are representatives of different parties and decisions are made after heated discussion and, most importantly, the responsibility over the decisions is shared by all the parliament members. This is real democracy, but Georgia is pretty far from this unfortunately. Instead, after Georgia regained its independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia became a country where fraudulent elections were ‘engineered’ which accommodated certain manipulations to secure the victory of the ruling power.

Georgia is approaching two elections: parliamentary and presidential. So the sophisticated chess game has started. The ruling power wants to secure its ultimate victory but it needs background voices to create a democratic image, therefore it has chosen certain opposition forces who agree on cooperation and the rules of games suggested by the ruling power. For this they will receive some seats in the parliament but this will not change the balance of power. The ruling power will still enjoy a constitutional majority and do what it likes to do. Some opposition forces still think that street actions are the only alternative. It would be much appreciated by the whole population of the country if the ruling forces would allow larger representation of opposition forces in the parliament in order to share some responsibility and avoid further unwanted scenes on Georgian streets.


        
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