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Yearbook 2009

Estonia. After a year's trial, in January four Estonian Russians, who had been charged with organizing the rallies in Tallinn in spring 2007, were acquitted when the so-called bronze soldier was moved by the government. The prosecutor could not prove that the riots were organized, nor that they had been driven from Moscow, as the government argued. In February, however, one Estonian was sentenced to twelve and a half years in prison for treason. He had been spying for the Russian Federation for several years from his central position at the Ministry of Defense.

2009 Estonia

According to countryaah, the consequences of the financial crisis hit the Baltic hard, but Estonia, which funded funds during the boom, did not have to follow Latvia's example of taking large loans from the outside. But the construction sector stopped, newly built housing was unsold, unemployment rose sharply to around 15 per cent and GDP decline was expected to be about 15 per cent during the year. The government was forced into severe budget cuts to keep the budget deficit in check and not give up its target of euro entry in 2011. Prime Minister Andus Ansip instead had to give up plans for continued tax cuts. The salaries of civil servants, including those of teachers, were reduced by 10 percent. The cuts put severe pressure on the coalition government, and the Social Democrats' opposition led Ansip to dismiss Finance Minister Ivari Padar and the other Social Democratic ministers in May.

During the year, an extensive program was completed in which thousands of Tallinn residents were given newly built cheap housing, since their old one was returned by the state to former owners from the time before joining the Soviet Union in 1940.

After four years of investigations, an expert group during the year presented its findings on Estonia's sinking to the government. According to the group, the Estonia ferry in 1994 was probably lost due to defects in the bow visor, but other causes of accidents, such as a hole in the hull, cannot be excluded as long as the entire wreckage of the wreck was not inspected, the report said.

In the municipal elections in October, the Center Party won a convincing victory in Tallinn with more than 53 percent of the vote. Thus, center leader Edgar Savisaar was re-elected as mayor and negotiated a coalition government with the Social Democrats in the capital. The cooperation was seen as a challenge to the national right-wing government.

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