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Nov. 10, 2006
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Estonia Govt Fighting Bronze Soldier
Estonias Parliament focused yesterday on two bills that are generally called the Bronze Soldier Acts. The first bill provides for removing monuments glorifying the states, which had invaded Estonia Germany and the Soviet Union. The second one spells out reburial of ashes of perished soldiers. Both bills are aimed at legalizing dismantling the Bronze Soldier, the monument to Soviet Liberator Warrior that stands in the downtown Tallinn.
The Bronze Soldier bills were spearheaded by Estonia's Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. In the wake of the May clashes of Bronze Soldiers supporters and opponents, Ansip suddenly spoke for removing the monument. But Ansip is prudent enough not to repeat the destiny of his predecessor, Juhan Parts, who paid by the PM office for the overnight withdrawal of monument to SS Nazi in Lihula.

Ansips idea is to legally authorize the cabinet to dismantle monuments with no consent of the local authorities given for it. So, the prime minister made clear to legislators the monument wouldnt be removed till the parliaments elections of next March, as it was necessary to find out whether any remains had been buried under it and no diggings could be made in November. Ansip said that by spring, which is the time for digging, according to PM, the bills sanctioning dismantling and reburying ashes (if found under the monument) would be duly elaborated.

The Bronze Soldier in the downtown Tallinn is the venue for annual meetings of WW2 veterans on May 9. On that day, the veterans lay wreaths and flowers there to commemorate perished soldiers.

Ansips reason for dismantling the monument is ensuring respectful attitude to the soldiers graves, which Estonia undertook to do once it joined the Geneva Convention. The prime minister blamed dismantling Bronze Soldier on those, who drink vodka, scuffle and stage rallies near the monuments.
www.kommersant.com

All the Article in Russian as of Nov. 10, 2006

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