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The President of the Republic began a tour in Võru County

President Arnold Rüütel and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel today began a two-day county visit in Võru County. Võru County Governor Ülo Tulik and Mrs Urve Tulik welcomed the presidential couple at Heimtali on the border of Võru County.

The tour started with a visit to Võru County Government where the employees of the county government gave an overview of the development trends and problems of the County. After that, the Head of State visited the Center of Vocational Education of Võrumaa where he met with the leaders of the Center and the representatives of local employment office. The meeting addressed the problems of unemployment and labour shortage in Võru County, but also employment of young people, retraining and continuing education. The President of the Republic considered the principle underlying the activities of the Center - creating a network with enterprises and local governments and flexibility of teaching - to be correct.

The importance of vocational education in the field of technology was stressed also during meetings at the enterprises Lapi TM and Lasva Liimpuit. Lapi TM works in close cooperation with the Vocational Education Center and manufactures metal and plastic material products, and was founded on Estonian private capital. Lasva Liimpuit produces mainly pinewood laminated timber boards and furniture components.

At the same time, Mrs Ingrid Rüütel visited a non-profit association Kütioru Open Studio, which is the home of Leelo and Peeter Laurits at Kütiorg. Many artists from Estonia and abroad visit the Studio to get inspiration from there. After that, Mrs Rüütel met with the leaders of local societies and local governments at Kündja Village Society in Vastseliina rural municipality.

The visit continued at Pokumaa in Urvaste rural municipality. In the words of Piret Otsatalu, an employee of Pokumaa Foundation, one of the main goals is to teach the children to be friends of nature and through that to enrich their knowledge of culture and nature. Currently there are two educational trails and a fun trail opened at Pokumaa.

After lunch, the presidential couple acquainted with the renovation work of Culture House "Kannel". After that they visited the recently renovated outlook tower on top of Suur Munamägi. President Rüütel is the patron of the Foundation "Suure Munamäe Vaatetorn".

In the afternoon, the Head of State and Mrs Ingrid Rüütel met with young Seto families on the Raudoja family home farm in Meremäe rural municipality. The conversation focused on the problems of everyday life of local people, such as moving of young families to the countryside, development of infrastructure and enterprising, and Seto heritage culture. The advancement of living environment - building of wells and roads and electricity supply, was considered to be of utmost importance.

The presidential couple decided not to attend the performance of Vanemuine Theatre "Taarka" scheduled for the end of the first day of the visit, because of the tragic helicopter crash that happened on the same day.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, August 10, 2005

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