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The President of the Republic visited Võru County

The President of the Republic today, in the morning, attended the Võru Vision Conference at the Culture House ''Kannel'' in Võru County, and visited Nava village and Vastseliina rural municipality.

In his speech delivered at the Võrumaa Vision Conference, President Rüütel stressed that in Võru County, as well as in South East Estonia as a whole, there were many such values that help to secure sustainable development of the region, for example, beautiful and clean nature and unique culture. ''As over the last ten years more than 5000 people have left Võrumaa, we should give them a reason to come back. Certainly, among the reasons for coming back can be better opportunities for enterprising activities and new jobs, but also the existence of modern cultural and sports facilities,'' the head of Estonian state said.

The President of the Republic added that the shortage of labour did not need to be an obstacle for knowledge-intensive production, which certainly takes one of the first places among the possibilities enabling to achieve sustainable development both for Võrumaa and the entire Estonia. ''Modern technologies enable to alleviate labour shortage, and much wider use of know-how in traditional branches of industry, for example, in timber and food processing industries, can give considerable economy of resources,'' President Rüütel said.

At the vision conference, the Head of State presented state decorations to nine people who had not been able to participate in the festive ceremony in Tallinn on the eve of the Independence Day:

The third class Order of the National Coat of Arms: Einar Rannit

The fourth class Order of the White Star: Lenhard Ermel, Kurmet Müürsepp, Tiit Tõnts, Ülle Kauksi, and Jaan Veeroos

The fifth class Order of the White Star: Lidia Sillaots

The fifth class Order of the Cross of the Eagle: Paul Heinsoo

The Medal of the Order of the White Star: Eda Tuvikene

Thereafter, the President of the Republic visited newly completed buildings of Võru Sports Centre, and Navi community house where he met with the mayor of Võru rural municipality Georg Ruuda, the chairman of Võru rural municipality council Priit Süüdene, and members of Navi village society. President Rüütel thanked the people of Navi for advancing their community's life and culture, which together with strong families form a foundation for lasting traditions and endurance of nation. The members of Navi village society noted that from the viewpoint of sustainability the development of the state using four pull-centres was not right and would be costly in the long run.

The head of Estonian state also visited Vastseliina rural municipality, where he met with the mayor of Vastseliina rural municipality Raul Tohv and representatives of the local community, and acquainted himself with Vastseliina Ski Base and OÜ Timmo Puutöökoda (Timmo Wood Processing Workshop).

The aim of Võrumaa vision conference and preceding working groups is to define and agree the county's general development directions, also, to collect ideas and suggestions for designing concrete actions.

Public Relations Unit of the Office of the President
Kadriorg, March 7, 2006

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