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The President of the Republic discussed social affairs

President Arnold Rüütel deems it necessary that, in order to solve the social problems having deteriorated significantly in Estonia, more radical measures than so far be implemented and the general public be involved.

The Head of State at noon today asked to Kadriorg Minister of Social Affairs Marko Pomerants, Minister of Internal Affairs Margus Leivo, Minister Jaan Õunapuu, and Chairwoman of the Riigikogu’s Social Affairs Committee Mai Treial to receive information, first of all, about what measures the Government and the Riigikogu are planning to reduce the exploding HIV infection rate in Estonia. At the meeting, in addition, possibilities to bring to a halt drug abuse, human trafficking and crime were under discussion; the Ministers presented bills and projects being devised for that purpose.

The President at the meeting noted that the situation could be improved not only by amending laws and stiffening penalties but also by changing approaches. “Hopefully the need to solve social problems, which in places have come to a head, will be reflected already in the next year’s budget,” the Head of State said and added: “On top of the legislator, also our families, teachers, local authorities and police have a lot to do. Shaping of disapproving attitude in whole society would be one of the major opportunities to prevent vices from spreading.”

Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 18, 2003

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