Estonia. The year was dominated by the battle for the so-called Bronze Soldier in Tallinn. It was a Soviet war memorial commemorating the Red Army’s victory over the German Nazis, but the Estonians saw the statue as a symbol of the Soviet occupation. Next to the monument were Soviet soldiers buried.
According to CountryAAH, Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia. Prime Minister Andrus Ansip wanted to move the bronze soldier and the tombs to a war cemetery, and in January Parliament voted in favor of a law that would make it possible. In February, another law was passed that would force the government to move the monument within 30 days. Russia reacted strongly to the decision and warned of severe consequences in Russian-Estonian relations. Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves refused to sign the law, which did not enter into force. The president felt that the statue should be left standing and he accused the politicians of voting for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The bronze soldier became a controversial issue in the March elections. The government coalition was divided between the Prime Minister’s Liberal Reform Party who wanted to move the statue and the left-wing Center Party who wanted to leave it in peace and who was strongly supported by the Russian-speaking minority.
But the election was also about taxes and wages in a country with the EU’s second highest growth (11.6 percent in 2006) and the second lowest unemployment rate (about 4 percent). The reform party promised to lower the unit tax for everyone from 22 to 18 percent over the next four years. The center advocated progressive tax, but instead promised sharply increased salaries for public employees.
The bronze soldier and the growing economy played Prime Minister Ansip in his hands. His Reform Party won the election and increased by 12 seats to 31. The party received votes from mainly young Estonian voters. The center, on the other hand, was supported by older Estonian and Russian voters and stayed on 29 seats. The Right Alliance IRL, which consists of the Confederation of the Fosterlands and Res Publica, took 19 seats and the Social Democrats 10. The Greens returned to Parliament after several years outside.
Ansip chose to place the rival Center Party outside the new government. Instead, he formed a right-wing coalition with the Reform Party, the IRL and the Social Democrats. Together, they had a majority with 60 of Parliament’s 101 seats.
At the end of April, the government decided to move the bronze soldier and the tombs of the soldiers. When hundreds of police had blocked the area and thousands of Russian-speaking protesters gathered, riots erupted into violent riots. Two nights in a row, young people were beaten by police. Hundreds of stores in the center of Tallinn were vandalized and robbed and over a thousand people were arrested. A young man was killed and over a hundred people injured in the riots.
The Estonian government accused Russia of upsetting the youth. Moscow, for its part, condemned the move of the bronze soldier as a remission of fascist forces. In Moscow, young faithful President Vladimir Putin besieged Estonia’s embassy and the ambassador was physically attacked. Deliveries of oil and coal across the border were stopped and some rail transport to Estonia was canceled.
In addition, the first IT war in history began. Intense virtual attacks were directed at the websites of Estonian media, banks and government departments that the country was temporarily forced to shut down data traffic with the outside world. The Estonian government accused the Kremlin of being behind, but it turned out that the attacks were likely carried out by Russian hackers who used hundreds of thousands of hijacked computers around the world.
Estonian allies in the EU and NATO condemned the Russian threats to Estonia’s embassy in Moscow, explaining that the move of the bronze soldier was an internal Estonian matter. The conflict surrounding the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn helped to cool down the already frosty relationship between Russia and the EU.
The bronze soldier was moved to the war cemetery, where the monument was flooded with flowers by Estonian Russians. But the Russians at the same time condemned the government and believed that the gap between Russians and Estonians widened for a long time to come. Instead, Estonian opinion joined with a very strong support behind Prime Minister Ansip and the Reform Party. An expert group came up in June with a report which stated that Estonia failed to integrate the country’s Russians, and the government was asked to prioritize the issue. The chairman of the group felt that Estonia needed to change its legislation so that even Russians whose ancestors immigrated during the Soviet era were granted citizenship and voting rights to Parliament under the same conditions as the Estonians. They must now take tests in Estonian to obtain citizenship. The Russian-speaking minority makes up about a quarter of Estonia’s population.
Four Estonian Russians were charged in the autumn with being charged for spring riots. The trial would start after the turn of the year.
Estonia’s economic growth slowed sharply during the year. In the third quarter it was 6.4 percent, almost half the year before. It was mainly the manufacturing industry and the retail sector that slowed growth. Rapid wage increases kept up inflation, and the forecast for Estonia’s entry into the euro zone was postponed until early 2011.
Before Christmas, EU President José Manuel Barroso took part in a ceremony in Tallinn, when the Schengen area was extended to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and six other countries in central Europe.
Estonia weather in March, April and May
Average daily temperatures between 0 ° C and 13 ° C can be expected over the next three months. May is still the mildest in Talinn, but March is noticeably colder..
Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 1-5 ° C. So the weather is not suitable for swimming.
In March, at about 8 days to be expected precipitation in April at about 8 days in May at about 7 days.
In the period from March to May the sun shines on average between 4 and 9 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in May in Talinn, but with less sun you will have to get by in March.