Almost before you can say ‘fascist’, the Estonians have hurriedly re-assembled the Bronze Soldier and put him back up, albeit in a different location. They even put out a live TV broadcast to tell the world.
That’s a very different story to Friday, when Government spokesman Martin Jasko said the ‘unnecessarily divisive’ statue had ‘no place in the city centre’ and was being removed to an ‘undisclosed location’.
One can observe that putting him back up was as precipitate as dismantling him in the first place. There’s no guarantee his new location will be any less provocative. More likely the opposite, given that a few war graves have been desecrated in the ensuing controversy.
So, what might have been the pressures on the Estonian Government? They won’t have been from the Russian minority in Estonia, a marginalised, powerless, unemployed and eminently lock-uppable minority.
Over the weekend, condemnation came from from more than a few directions. Notably from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the LA-based holocaust historians.
Russians in Russia spontaneously responded to the desecration of the war grave. Supermarkets voluntarily stopped selling Estonian goods, while Moscow Mayor Luzhkov called on institutions to freeze financial transactions with Estonia.
Russia’s always amusing deputy speaker, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, offered to fund a replica of the soldier to be installed across the street from the Estonian embassy in Moscow. (Currently under siege from the equally entertaining Nashi kids.)
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
Predictable stuff. And in all this, who is predictably absent? The EU, of course. ‘It’s a local spat”, was the response, despite an urgent plea from Finland to join the debate.
My previous post, ‘Ethnic Cleansing in Estonia‘ describes how the EU bent its own rules to facilitate the passage of Estonia into the expanded NATO EU.
In terms of human rights, Estonia never passed any normal rules for EU Entry. As ‘The Scotsman‘ notes today:
After regaining independence in 1991, Estonia gave automatic citizenship only to people resident in the country before the annexation of 1941. This has left the vast bulk of Russian-speakers, most of whom arrived or were born during the Soviet period, as non-citizens.
Statistically, that’s a whole third of the population disadvantaged. But according to the EU, and the Estonian Government, it’s one statue that’s divisive.
The funny part is that Belgium - and Brussels - experienced the same kind of language wars that divided and paralysed the country for decades. Now you can’t buy a tin of beans in Brussels that isn’t packaged in two languages and three are official. Are EU MPs so permanently out to lunch that they just don’t get it? Or just pig ignorant?
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