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gov.ee, 14 January 2010 – At today’s session, the Government of Estonia  approved the goals in the European Union during the Spanish Presidency in the first half of 2010. In total, the government formulated 5 subjects that are important for Estonia.
The main goal of Estonia in 2010 is joining the Eurozone. In the first half-year, a positive evaluation is expected from the European Commission and the European Central Bank in regards to Estonia’s readiness to adopt the Euro, and the approval of a relevant recommendation by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union and the European Council. Estonia will continue domestic work for achieving readiness for the Euro, as well as the active introduction and reasoning behind its readiness for the Euro.

4 January (BNS) - Estonia's Eesti Energia power utility has exported electricity to both Finland and Lithuania in the first days of the new year.
Eesti Energia CFO Margus Kaasik told BNS that a contract had been signed with Lithuania for a concrete amount. In addition to Lithuania, Eesti Energia is currently also selling electricity on the Nordpool electricity exchange in Finland, but amounts depend on the market price of the concrete hour.
"In some hours we sell more to Finland than to Lithuania and in another hour less," Kaasik said.
In connection with the closure of the Ignalina nuclear power plant, Eesti Energia wants to increase export and win 10-15% of the Lithuanian energy market.
Eesti Energia board chairman Sandor Liive has said that Eesti Energia is hoping to sell electricity for one billion kroons (EUR 64 mln) to Lithuania during the year.

The product of a long collaboration between an American composer and Lithuanian librettist and director, Julius tells the story of one man's struggle to hold onto his dream of returning home as he and his family are pulled in conflicting directions by war, occupation, and the search for freedom. Based on the true life story of the composer's Lithuanian grandfather and his experience as a DP in Germany from 1944-51, this work blends contemporary opera with elements of Lithuanian folk and traditional music, in particular the songs Julius sang for over 50 years after he left Lithuania and which his family recorded before he passed away.

Do you remember? Do you know? Where were you, your parents, or grandparents during “Christmastime” and where did you/they ring in the New Year 65 years ago? In how many places across the world have “Silent Night” in Estonian and the Estonian National Anthem sounded devotedly over these 65 years?
65 years ago were the first holidays spent in exile; far from home, homeland, relatives and, for many, also from one’s family members who were dwelling somewhere in the shadows of the unknown. Estonia was, once again, occupied by its Eastern neighbor and many, who hadn’t the opportunity to head secretly towards Sweden, had to reconcile themselves with conditions in wartime Germany. One can only imagine, and still not fully understand, the feelings of these people caught in the unknown, unable to make plans for the future, but who did not lose faith that their Estonia someday would be free again.

I submit a set of reflections that came about because of two events. One was an economic roundtable arranged by the Office of the European Parliament in Riga that I had the privilege of speaking at in November. I had been asked to elaborate on the idea that the reemergence of the Baltic States onto the world market in the early nineties was something that had not been planned with much reason, but fell into our lap instead with little reflection and prior preparation. A free market improvisation, if you will, constructed initially on the basis of the "one book by Milton Friedman" that Mart Laar had read as he assumed the burden of leadership.

Back in early 1990, before Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union, my wife Helju and I were at an Estonian gathering in Syracuse, New York. Our friends Maie and Oleg Golubjatnikov mentioned that the Estonian American Fund (EAF) was looking for medical contributions to send to Estonia.  At the time Crouse Hospital, where I worked in the X-ray department, was replacing its CT scanner. The equipment still produced excellent images but it was too slow; and patients were backing up despite the machine being in use 16 hours per day.

15 December (BNS) - In its Tuesday issue, The New York Times contained an overview of the euro aspirations of Estonia and the other Baltic countries and of the problems connected with it.
The paper finds that Estonia has fared better in the financial crisis than its two fellow former Soviet republics Latvia and Lithuania because it was more prudent about foreign borrowing and fiscal discipline in the boom years.

8 December (BNS) - The international developer of online games and gaming environments Playtech, which does a large portion of its development work in Estonia, is to buy the gaming software company Gaming Technology Solutions (GTS).
The acquisition will take place for an initial consideration of 10.8 million euros, with a further consideration capped at 21.6 million euros over the next two years based on the future performance of the business.
GTS offers skill games, including those allowed under regulated markets, Playtech said. It said GTS has amongst its licensees some of the most well established European sports betting operators.
For the 12-month period ended June 2009, GTS recorded revenues of 2.6 million pounds sterling.
Playtech is listed on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

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