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Republic of Estonia. A movable religious holiday is Good Fridaythe Friday before Easter. Comparatively, the area occupied by Estonia is slightly smaller than the states of New Hampshire and Vermont combined, with a total area of 45, sq km 17, sq mi. Estonia shares boundaries with the Baltic Sea on the n and w, Russia on the e, and Latvia on the s. Estonia's land boundaries total km mi. Its coastline is 3, km 2, mi. Estonia's capital city, Tallinn, is located in the northern part of the coast.
The topography of Estonia consists mainly of marshy lowlands with a hilly region in the southeast. Over a third of the country is forest. The highest point is Suur Munamagi, located in the Haanja Uplands of the south, with an altitude of m 1, ft. The lowest point is at sea level Baltic Sea.
The country has Estonia bc mature women sex than 1, natural and artificial lakes. The largest lake is Lake Peipus, located along the border with Russia. The shared lake has a total area of 3, sq km 1, sq mi. The Narva and Ema are also chief rivers. The proximity of the Baltic Sea influences the coastal climate. At the country's most eastern points, the mean temperature is between 4. Rainfall averages 50 cm 20 in on the coast. Inland, rainfall averages 70 cm 28 in. Rainfall is heaviest during the summer and lightest in the spring. Calcareous soil and a relatively mild climate permit rich flora and fauna in western Estonia.
Native plants over 1, species. The abundance of woodland and plant species provides a suitable habitat for elk, deer, wild boar, wolf, lynx, bear, and otter. As ofthere were at least 65 species of mammals and species of birds. Air, water, and land pollution rank among Estonia's most ificant environmental challenges.
The combination oftons of dust from the burning of oil shale by power plants in the northeast part of the country and airborne pollutants from industrial centers in Poland and Germany poses a ificant hazard to Estonia's air quality. Estonia's water resources have been affected by agricultural and industrial pollutants, including petroleum products, which have also contaminated the nation's soil. Some rivers and lakes within the country have been found to contain toxic sediments in excess of 10 times the accepted level for safety.
The nation's land pollution problems are aggravated by the 15 million tons of pollutants that are added yearly to the existing million tons of pollutants. In24, acres of the country's total land area were affected. Radiation levels from the nuclear accident at Chernobyl exceed currently accepted safety levels.
Inabout According to a report issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources IUCNthreatened species included four types of mammals, three species of birds, one species of fish, and four species of invertebrates. The European mink and the Atlantic sturgeon are among those listed as endangered. The population of Estonia in was estimated by the United Nations UN at 1,, which placed it at in population among the nations of the world.
There were 85 males for every females in the country. According to the UN, the annual population rate of change for — 10 was expected to be The decline in population was due to an extremely low birth rate 1. The projected population for the year was 1, The population density was 30 per sq km 77 per sq miwith the northern portion of the country being the most densely populated. The capital city, Tallinn, had a population ofin that year. Newly independent inEstonia was occupied and annexed in by the Soviet Union.
It was occupied by German troops the following year. When the Soviet army returned inmore than 60, Estonians fled to Sweden and Germany. Other Estonians were sent to Soviet labor camps. Many Russians migrated to Estonia under Soviet rule. Some left after Estonia became independent again. After the breakup of the Soviet Union inEstonia suffered from waves of transit migration. Some 90, Russians with permanent residence in Estonia are citizens of Russia.
These large ethnic minorities live segregated from ethnic Estonians and tend not to understand the Estonian language. The total of migrants living in Estonia in was , approximately one-quarter of the population. In a population ofstateless people existed in Estonia. In the net migration rate was Estonia bc mature women sex as The government views the migration levels as satisfactory. According to a census, Estonians make up about Estonian is a member of the Finno-Ugric linguistic family.
It is closely related to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian. Standard Estonian is based on the North Estonian dialect. Most of the sounds can be pronounced as either short, long, or extra long. Changing the duration of a sound in a word can alter the grammatical function of the word or change its meaning completely. The language is highly agglutinative, and there are no less than 14 cases of noun declension.
Most borrowed words are from German. The alphabet is Roman.
The first text written in Estonian dates from Estonian is the official language and is spoken by about Christianity was introduced into Estonia in the 11th century. During the Reformation it converted largely to Lutheranism, although political events in the 18th and 19th century occasioned a strong Russian Orthodox presence. Independence from the Soviet Unionachieved inrelieved the pressure under which religious groups had labored since In there were an estimated congregations of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church with aboutmembers.
There were also about 59 congregations of the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church 20, members and 30 congregations of the Estonian Orthodox Churchmembers. While Lutherans and Orthodox constitute the majority, there are smaller communities of Baptists, Methodists, Roman Catholics, Methodist, Jehovah 's Witnesses, Pentecostals, and other Christian denominations. There are also Jewish, Muslimand Buddhist communities; however, each of these minority faiths has less than 6, followers.
About 70, people in the country claimed to be atheists. The constitution provides for freedom of religion and this right is generally respected in practice. Basic Christian ecumenical religious instruction is available in public schools as an elective. Certain Christian holidays are observed as national holidays.
Estonia in had a total of km mi of broad gauge railroad track, all common carrier railway lines, not including industrial lines, of which km 82 mi was electrified. In order to overcome problems in rolling stock shortages and load fluctuations, a second line of tracks is being laid along the Tallinn-Narva route.
Highways in totaled 56, km 35, miof which 13, km 8, mi are paved, including 99 km 62 mi of expressways.
Sea transportation has increased especially since the completion of Tallinn's new harbor and the acquisition of high capacity vessels. Ships carry grain from Estonia bc mature women sex America and also serve West African cargo routes. Ina ferry service opened between Tallinn and Stockholm. During one of these commutes in Septemberthe ferry Estonia sank off the coast of Finland, resulting in about deaths. As ofEstonia had some km mi of navigable internal waterways.
There were an estimated 29 airports inof which 12 had paved runways, and one heliport as of The principal airport at Tallinn has direct air links to Helsinki and Stockholm. Estonian Air is the principal international airline. Inaboutpassengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.
What is now Estonia was ruled in turn by the Danes, the Germans, and the Swedes from the Middle Ages until the 18th century. Russia annexed the region in During the 19th century, an Estonian nationalist movement arose which by the early 20th century sought independence.
After the Bolshevik Revolution and the advance of German troops into Russia, Estonia declared Estonia bc mature women sex on 24 February But after the German surrender to the Western powers in NovemberRussian troops attempted to move back into Estonia. The Estonians, however, pushed out the Soviet forces by Apriland the following year Soviet Russia recognized the Republic of Estonia. The German Army retreated inand Soviet forces once again occupied Estonia. Taking advantage of the relatively greater freedom allowed under Mikhail Gorbachev in the late s, an Estonian nationalist movement, the Popular Frontwas launched in Estonia declared its independence from Moscow on 20 August A new constitution was adopted on 28 June With much fanfare, the last Russian tanks and 2, troops were removed from Estonia on 17 Augustending 50 years of military presence in Estonia.
Russia also announced it would begin dismantling two nuclear reactors within Estonia. Estonia demanded the return of more than sq mi of land that Russia considered part of its territory, but that belonged to Estonia before World War II. When Estonia renewed its claim to those lands, the Russian government began constructing border posts, many of which are guarded by armed soldiers and linked by fences. One of the worst maritime disasters since World War II occurred on 28 Septemberwhen the ferry Estoniaen route from Tallinn to Sweden, sank off the coast of Finland, killing about people. Investigators reported that locks on the huge front cargo door of the ferry failed during a storm, letting in a flood of water that caused the ship to sink in only a few minutes.
The parliamentary vote reflected dissatisfaction among rural inhabitants and pensioners and aled a change from the vigorous free-market reforms that dominated Estonia's transition from Soviet rule. The of the election, however, didn't ificantly alter Estonia's commitment to a balanced budget, a stable currency, or a good foreign investment climate.
In September Meri won a second presidential term, although the election was turned over to an electoral college after no candidate won the required two-thirds majority in parliamentary balloting in August. Reformers once again won control of Estonia's parliament in the March general elections, in which a coalition of center-right parties gained a slim majority, wining 53 out of seats.
However, the left-leaning Center Party won 28 seats, the highest for a single party. Mart Laar was named prime minister.
The new government was expected to emphasize political reforms as much as economic ones, focusing on the elimination of corruption and inefficiency in the civil servicecourts, and police. Since it gained its independence inEstonia's foreign policy focused on integration with Western Europewith the specific long-range goals of EU and NATO membership. One of these goals received a boost in when Estonia was invited by the European Union to begin negotiations toward membership. In Decemberthe EU formally invited Estonia, one of 10 new candidate countries, to the body as of May Internally, Estonia still faces the challenge of integrating its minority population of ethnic Russians fully into the nation's public life.
However, because none of the presidential candidates received the required two-thirds vote in parliament after three rounds of voting, an electoral collegecomposed of all members of parliament and local government representatives, elected the president. In JanuaryLaar reed as prime minister and Siim Kallas took his place. The next presidential election was to take place fall Parliamentary elections held on 2 March resulted in the formation of a coalition government made up of the center-right Res Publica, the right-leaning Reform Party, and the rural party People's Union.
Thirty-six-year-old Juhan Parts became prime minister on 10 April. The next parliamentary elections were scheduled for March As ofEstonia had the most advanced information infrastructure of any country in the former Communist Eastern bloc. Aroundof Estonia's approximately 1. Citizens use the Internet to access state services and to conduct any of business transactions, and many people who never owned a landline telephone now rely on wireless phones. After nearly 10 years of negotiations, in May Russia and Estonia ed a treaty delimiting Estonia bc mature women sex border. In June, the Estonian parliament ratified the border treaty, but introduced an amendment referring to the Soviet occupation, despite warnings from Russia not to do so.Estonia bc mature women sex
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