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In a Newsweek article from the August 23&30, 2010 issue, (cover story: The Best Country In The World Is…) Mac Margolis writes in an article regarding “e-government” about Estonia’s trailblazing dominance in this area.

He explains that if Franz Kafka had grown up in modern Tallinn instead of 19th century Prague, the world might find itself bereft of a number of modern literary classics, due to the lack of “the implacable gatekeeper”–type characters (who stymie and torture any number of Kafka’s self-referential main characters) in his experience. …A basic lack of confounding bureaucratic inefficiency and paperwork (especially).

Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991. Capitalizing on confusion from a failed hardliner putsch in Moscow, the country literally turned the "worst of times" into the "best of times" with a show of cross-partisan solidarity that has been all too rare since then. Here is an in-depth look back at the chronological events that led up to August 20, 1991.

 

The beginning of the end for Soviet rule

The collapse of the communist system in Estonia was founded on objective contradictions and weaknesses within the system itself as well as internal and external pressures.  By the mid-1980s, the aggressive policies of Reagan and Thatcher and the growing resistance in the system itself had led the Soviet empire into deep crisis. It was clear to the Soviet leadership that they were losing the Cold War. In order to halt the arms race, reforms, or rather the semblance of reforms, were introduced under Mikhail Gorbachov. The restructuring—perestroika—was what ultimately dismantled the Soviet Union.

 

The 56th annual Eesti Mängud was held in Lakewood from July 30 to August 1st. The events started Friday with golf at the Pine Barrens Country Club and ended with the volleyball finals played at the Lakewood Eesti Maja. There were nearly 300 participants in the various sporting events.

The weather was exceptional and some 45 campers set-up their tent sites Friday evening, including the Kungla folk dance troupe and friends who arrived by bus from Toronto.  Many guests came from the eastern seaboard states, including Florida.  The Kajakad (Girl Guide leaders) came from Estonia and we had Estonian volleyball players from Korea.  More tents were positioned on Saturday.

 

Estonian Day Event In Salisbury Maryland on the Campus of Salisbury University in the Great Room of Halloway Hall at 2:00 PM, Saturday, 11 September 2010.

Also the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Maryland/Estonian Exchange Council (MEEC) on the campus of Salisbury University in the Montgomery Room of the Commons  Building, on Saturday, 11 September 2010.  This will be a working lunch with lunch starting at 12:00 noon and the meeting starting at 12:30 PM.  Please contact Toivo Tagamets for more details (301-951-7160 &   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).  Car Parking next door.

9 July (BNS) - Smartpost, which has created a high-tech parcel delivery system in Estonia during the past two years, has signed a contract for the sale of its network to the Finnish logistics company Itella Corporation in order to fully dedicate expansion to foreign markets. By a mutual agreement, the parties will not disclose the price of the transaction, the companies said on July 9.

In the future, Smartpost will focus on its main activity – the development of parcel delivery software and hardware and its sale to foreign countries. Use of the Smartpost trademark in Estonia will pass to Itella. The employees connected with the provision of parcel delivery services will also continue in Itella. Itella will set up a new company, OU Itella Smartpost, to continue providing the parcel delivery services in Estonia.

15 July (BNS) - The number of ethnic Estonians living in the world now is 1 060 000, of whom 930 000 live in Estonia and about 130 000, or 12%, in other countries, it appears from a human resource report presented by the Estonian Co-operation Assembly on July 15.

The eastern diaspora of Estonians is constantly declining. In Russia, where the number of ethnic Estonians is the largest, the decline is happening as a result of a big share of elderly people in the ethnic Estonian population and assimilation of the younger generation.

Olive Films is proud to present the US Theatrical Release of THE TEMPTATION OF ST. TONY (Püha Tõnu kiusamine), a film by Velko Õunpuu. This film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.

THE TEMPTATION OF ST. TONY will open in New York at Cinema Village on September 17, and in Los Angeles at Laemmle Sunset 5 on October 1.  Other cities will follow.

To appreciate Veiko Õunpuu’s artful tale of moral confusion, let’s begin where he does—with Dante’s Inferno: "Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself within a forest dark."

12 July (BNS) - According to July 12 issue of the Times, Sofi Oksanen, a Finnish writer of Estonian roots, is becoming as popular a writer as the Swede Stig Larsson.

The Times wrote that although Oksanen has sold only a few hundred thousand copies of her books compared with Larsson's millions, her popularity is increasing. The paper mentioned her last book, “Purge”, which has been published in 29 countries, adding that in Finland the writer's status was similar to that of a rock star.

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