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The President of the Republic is on a tour of Pärnumaa

President Rüütel was welcomed by the County Governor of Pärnumaa, Toomas KivimägiSunday evening, President Arnold Rüütel and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel launched their three-day tour of the County of Pärnumaa by viewing the performance of Rigoletto at the Endla Theatre.

This morning, President Rüütel was welcomed by the County Governor of Pärnumaa, Toomas Kivimägi. According to the County Governor, Pärnumaa's biggest problem was the lack of hospital, since for people choosing their place of residence, the existence of hospital was important. Planned changes of Estonia’s administrative system were under discussion as well. In the words of Toomas Kivimäe, the smaller the municipalities, the stronger should be the governance at county level. In the view of the County Governer, the reinstatement of county councils would help our counties to preserve their identities and constitute a force balancing functional governance. The President of the Republic at the meeting stressed the need to start debating our administrative system and to make relevant decisions before long.

Next, President Rüütel met with representatives of the Association of Agricultural Producers of Pärnumaa and the Association of Farmers of Pärnumaa. As the biggest problems, the local agricultural producers put forward the lack of prices policy and financial backing. The President of the Republic took interest in whether organic farming, among other things, had been tried out in Pärnumaa. According to the farmers, the organic farming was complicated for demanded volumes were too small and there were no creameries specialized in organic products. At the end of the meeting, President Rüütel expressed the view that the responsibility for sustaining life and work in the countryside lied with politicians.

At 11:00 am, the President of the Republic opened a seminar on the European Union where he called for finding out what Estonia would face while joining the European Union, and for making a decision on that considering not only the present situation and future but also Estonian history. According to President Rüütel, in the European Union small countries could live up to their values and goals.

The President of the Republic called at the Flax Mill of PärnuThereafter, the President of the Republic started touring enterprises of Pärnumaa. First, he called at the Flax Mill of Pärnu where its Chairman of the Board, Arvo Villmann, briefed the President on the prospects of flax production in Estonia.

After visiting the flax mill, President Rüütel headed for the birthplace of Konstantin Päts, where he will lay a wreath at his memorial.

Office of the President
Kadriorg, May 26, 2003

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