Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 54

The new Estonian government was sworn in before Parliament and took office yesterday. The new Prime Minister, Mart Siimann, replaces Tiit Vahi, who resigned last month after almost two years in office in order to defend himself against charges of involvement in unlawful real estate transactions. The new cabinet is little changed and remains, like its predecessor, a minority government based on Vahi’s and Siimann’s Coalition party and its junior ally, the Country People’s bloc. Estonia’s foreign partners will find Foreign Minister Toomas Ilves, Defense Minister Andrus Oovel, Finance Minister Mart Opmann, and European Affairs Minister Andra Veidemann in the same posts. The new prime minister pledged continuity in the government’s domestic and foreign policies.

Siimann, 50, a trained psychologist, rose as a television journalist from reporter to general director of state television. He went on to create the country’s first independent TV channel, and entered active politics in 1995 as a parliamentary deputy. (BNS, March 15, 17)

Riga, Vilnius Nervous Over Helsinki Summit.