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Estonian report
by Euro Reporter
2014-01-07 10:46:37
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Estonia to probe local doctor's doping claims

The head of Estonia's anti-doping agency says it has started an investigation into claims by a local sports doctor that he provided banned substances to track and field athletes from 1995-2007. Kristel Berendsen tells The Associated Press that a commission will probe the allegations by Dr. Vitali Bernatski made in an interview with the Eesti Paevaleht daily.

According to the paper, Bernatski said he had provided or administered athletes with various substances, including human growth hormone and EPO, but did not provide evidence to back up the claims.

Bernatski did not name any athletes and has publicly declined to provide details since the interview was published on Tuesday.


There are nearly 500 empty or half empty apartment buildings in Estonia

A study conducted at the request of the Estonian economy ministry indicates that there are nearly 500 empty or half-empty apartment building in Estonia. The aim of the study was to map the state of problematic apartment buildings. Apartment buildings that have three or more apartments and where at least 25% of apartments are empty were considered problematic.

The poll was conducted in 72 towns and parishes. The amount of such buildings is the biggest in the South East Estonian town Valga and in North Eastern Lääne-Virumaa county. The study recommends supporting local municipalities financially to move people in the buildings that are in a better state and demolish the empty buildings. The state could help renovate the buildings where people move.

Economy ministry construction and housing department head Margus Sarmet said that the biggest problem is that all apartments are privatised and thus it is difficult for local municipalities and the state to make changes. Eesti Päevaleht puts the number of such buildings at 476 and says that the study recommends demolishing around a half of them and renovating the rest. The study also makes a proposal to pay a compensation of a thousand euros to people who agree to move out of the half-empty buildings so that they could be demolished.


Estonia gives citizenship to almost 300 Russian-speaking residents

The Estonian government on Thursday granted citizenship to 263 Russian-speaking permanent residents of the country. The people who have been granted Estonian citizenship did not have any other citizenship, the government press service told Interfax. In addition, 18 citizens of Russia, two citizens of Ukraine, and one citizen of Moldova were granted Estonian citizenship on condition that they give up their previous citizenship.

The people have complied with all conditions needed to receive Estonian citizenship," the government said. Estonia requires citizenship seekers to take language tests and tests in the Estonia legislation and fulfil some other requirements, including not having any criminal record.

Some 90,000 people remain stateless in Estonia. Another some 100,000 people became Russian citizens after the collapse of the Soviet Union, mainly because getting Estonian citizenship was too difficult. Estonia has a population of les than 1.3 million people. The Estonian citizenship policies have been criticized by the UN, the OSCE, international human rights organizations, and the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, the Estonian government and ruling party said more than once that they have no intention of changing the state policies in this sphere.


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