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First lady of Estonia Ingrid Ruutel (right) and her granddaughters Helena (left) and Maria (right)
Photo: Vladas Lyubartas
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 Jan. 22, 2006  19:38 
I believe that it is the granddaughter's place to also apologize to the people and to therir grandparents. ... >>
Jan. 20, 2006
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Estonian President's Granddaughters Party Hearty
// Scandal
Estonian television has shown wild parties at Kadriorg, the presidential palace, hosted by the President Arnold Ruutel's granddaughters, Helena, 15, and Maria, 13. The disclosure was made on Eyewitness, one of Estonia's most popular prime-time television programs. An anonymous participant in the events recounted how guests smoked hashish, drink hard liquor and defile national symbols. The events had been going on regularly at least since last October and sometimes accommodated 50 guests. Festivities took place in the palace's sauna and on its roof, among other places. The president's granddaughters live with him and his wife Ingrid in the palace. There is an honor guard at the front entrance of the palace, but there s also a side entrance with a code lock. The palace's security service seemed not to have reacted to the presence of the young people, who had easy access to the working parts of the palace as well as the residential section.
The television show's revelations have caused a huge scandal. Presidential press attache Eero Raun claimed that the parties were confined to the presidential apartment and the Estonian Security Police stated that the young people did not access secret documents. It is notable that, although these events had been going on for several months, the reportage was shown on the same day that the editors-in-chief of 13 leading Estonian newspapers sent an open letter to Ruutel demanding that he officially declare whether or not he intends to run in this autumn's presidential election. The president is currently on a visit to the United States. He and his wife issued a statement yesterday saying that УWe regret what has happened. On the behalf of ourselves and our family, we apologize for the events and ask journalists and politicians passing judgment on this topic to take a high-minded approach to the problem and keep in mind that the children have already learned their lesson.Ф The 77-year-old Ruutel, who came to office only the third time he ran, has built his image around patriarchal family values.
Alexander Shegedin, Tallinn

All the Article in Russian as of Jan. 20, 2006

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