About Us | Bookmark Us     

Estonian media grumble about Bush's visit

Western media, though, give a positive spin

For most of the week preceding Bush’s visit, the Estonian media grumbled about the inconvenience of President Bush’s visit—concrete barricades, traffic jams, rooftop snipers. There was so much bellyaching that President Toomas Ilves held a press conference where he counseled Estonians to not be “annoyed” with Mr. Bush’s visit.

The day after Bush's visit, despite great praise for Estonia and a concrete promise from Mr. Bush to deal with visa freedom for Estonians, the attitude had not much improved. 

The local headlines read:

“Bush’s Polite Stop.” “Talliners indifferent toward Bush’s visit. Police replace spectators.” (Äripäev) Äripäev also complained in small print about the fact that almost no businessmen were invited to the official lunch for Bush.

“Nothing unexpected.” (Eesti Päevaleht)

Only one paper seemed to treat the Bush visit as a meeting between equal nations. Postimees headline: “Bush promises to personally to deal with visa freedom," and in much of its coverage the newspaper dealt with key issues between the two nations. Hats off to Postimees for its more professional coverage.

Estonians just can’t help being Estonian. Bush’s visit is the highest-profile event in years, and they still find something to complain about. If you’re a foreigner considering learning the Estonian language, you should perhaps think twice. See what kind of cheerful reading awaits you?