Edgar Savisaar, chairman of Centre Party and Mayor of Tallinn, writes in Postimees that instead of stealing from Centre Party, other Estonian political parties should follow Centre Party’s lead and breed their own Boroditches. Until they cannot produce at least one Ossinovski, the whole talk about integration is nonsense.
“Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008 was clearly a warning moment for the Georgian national and people, but less for Europe and the rest of the world. It was a tense time for whole Europe, but not so dangerous because it was a local and not a global conflict, or so it seemed. For various reasons, the events in Ukraine are definitely of geopolitical impotance and may therefore have potential disastrous consequences not only for the Ukranian people and nation, but for European nations and for Russia. The stakes are huge.
This is also shown by the public reaction in Estonia to events in Ukraine. People are afraid, but unfortunately, right-wing political parties continue to use the anxiety and fear of people for political benefit, instead of calming people down and supporting them. The worst of the lot is IRL that is warning about the hungry and angry Russian bear across the border and continues to antagonize Estonians and Russians. They have receive a lot of criticism for it, but the question remains: don’t they have a heart?
The position of Reform Party – security depends on wellbeing - is slightly more balanced. But processes that the Ukraine crisis may unleash and that could threaten Estonia are geopolitical processes. When they are released, the size of the Estonian average pension is not so important any more. And, although pensions in Estonia are higher than in Russia, they are ridiculously low. Ansip should be ashamed when he uses these figures as security guarantees.
The good thing is that Reform Party is not any more talking about budgets, but people’s wellbeing as well. It has been 20 years since Reform Party was born and they are finally understanding the essence of politics – people’s wellbeing! Also, claims made by pollsters that Centre Party’s popularity has recently been decreasing because of some of my earlier statements about Ukraine are simply not true and continue to comment on domestic and foreign policy.
The problem is that we don’t really know what is happening in Kiev. We don’t know what is actually happening in Moscow or what is being considered in Brussels, Berlin, Bejiing and Washington. It’s a game where all players are hiding their cards and everybody knows that everybody is bluffing.
What next? If this game leads to an outbreak of war, it means that no-one will be in control of the situation. Today, neither of the participants in the conflict have control in Ukraine. Wars are totally unpredictable events. All rules who have in the history went to war have made war plans, but wars never go by plan because it is contrary to the essence of war, ie uncontrolled violence.
What does that all mean for Estonia?
This is actually the main question. We see three things, and Centre Party has been talking about it for some time.
Firstly : the biggest threat to Estonia’s independence is the fact that the country is run in the interest of the few, without paying attention to the expectations of the masses for better life.
Low wages, unemployment, migration – these are the real domestic enemies. And all of these are created by right-wing policies. Break up the people’s trust in their state and you cut people’s roots that attach them to their home.
This is why we need to do evevrything possible to create new jobs, to increase eages and to restore the confidence of Estonians, especially young people, in their state. But what is the reality?
Secondly, antagonizing the two nations that has been going on for twenty years. The worst example of this policy is how IRL in the government reformed the school system. This is the real danger for Estonia.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia may pool their funding and start showing Russian cartoos from TV, but it does not change the fact that Russians living in Estonia feel themselves as second-class people. Taking away quality education from their children and portraying Russians in KAPO yearbook is not helping the cause. The recent court ruling in the case of KAPO yearbook tells volumes.
We need to change the mentality and politicians should be the first to do so. It is both tragic and funny how attempts are made to portray Centre Party as the opponent of integration. Can you name another party that has brought forward, promoted and supported Russian-speaking politicians? It’s time that also other political parties start to breed their own Boroditches, instead of stealing from the Centre Party. Until they cannot produce at least one Ossinovski, all talk about integration is meaningless.
Thirdly, for some reason every crisis situation brings out hysteric national radicals whose only objective seems to be instigating panic and feud. In 1991, in the most critical moments, we managed to keep them away from power and Laar, Kelam and the rest were unable to foil the independence attempts to Estonia. Later they were too busy dividing the loot. But these people are still there. I hope that the Estonian people are still resolved the way they were twenty years ago.
Which brings me back to the beginning. What should be the message of political parties now? Centre Party’s outdoor posters which said “Peace” are not taken down from the streets, but their message should remain. We are not envious and are welcoming all others under the umbrella of our message.