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Rimvydas Valatka: Estonians, we will not let this go!

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On 24 February, as Estonia was celebrating its 95th independence anniversary and the Estonian elite were gathering to a presidential ball, an occasion long forgotten here in Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis showed those Estonians who's the alpha-dog in the Baltic forest. How dare they: who gave them the right to award Dainius Dabašinskas, Lithuania's national patriarch Landsbergis hit Estonians in the face.

 

Whoever has as much as heard of Landsbergis, knows well: Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves made a fatal political mistake. Three Estonian generations will now be affected by the curse of Lithuanian patriots. We, Lithuanians, shall not forgive Estonians for Dabašinskas' award!

Come to think of it, only Estonians could have screwed up like that. It's completely beyond me: Estonia's President gave colonel Dabašinskas, former deputy director of Lithuanian security services, the very same award that Landsbergis himself received ten years ago. His award, though, was of a lesser degree. And they gave it the same Dabašinskas whom the conservative hysteria-mysteria not only chased out of security services, but also Foreign Minister Ažubalis prematurely recalled from a diplomatic post in Ukraine.

And now this – Estonia nonchalantly gives him an award of highest order!

Without even consulting Grybauskaitė or Landsbergis. How dare they, these Estonians, be so irresponsible and destroy the new Lithuanian mythology about the death of Col. Pociūnas, so rigorously groomed by Landsbergis and Dainius Kuolys? Lithuania, the conservatives, and some others have no future without this conspiracy theory!

“Such people should not continue working in the institution or anywhere near state affairs. However, Dabašinskas went away for a while and now he is back. He even works in the Parliament as adviser to former Healthcare Minister and doubtlessly influences or heads security officers,” our senior MEP poured his rage, directed partly at his fellow conservatives in the shaky Parliament majority, partly at the shamefully fallen Tallinn.

Later, he must have remembered that of all the disciplines in the art of politics, foreign policy was definitely his forte, and threw a last-minute diplomatic life-jacket to President Ilves: “Estonia has been deceived and Lithuania humiliated. It should be established who made the proposal to the Estonian government and President's office. It is necessary and I hope the organizer of the award for Dabašinskas will be made known.”

But Estonians are Estonians and they didn't get Landsbergis' subtle hint. President Ilves' office returned the patriarch's comments in disrespectful officialese: “Awarding Dainius Dabašinskas an order of merit was the decision of the president of Estonia, and it was based on the successful defense cooperation between Estonia and Lithuania.”

How could Dabašinskas have contributed anything to Estonia's defense, if Landsbergis himself forbade him to even approach any state affair? We won't leave it at that! Misery upon thee, o land of Kalev!

However unpopular Landsbergis might be in Lithuania, this time he might be able to mobilize a wide anti-Estonian front, exceeding the ranks of the usual conservative hardliners. Frankly speaking, even the most tolerant of us, Lithuanians, nurse a secret grudge against Estonians. Out of envy.

In the Soviet times, they were less zealous than us in learning the invaders' language, putting in an English word here and there. Estonians show they don't give a damn about Moscow's orders much more often than we do. They were also the first ones to set up a national liberation front. It was Estonian model that our Sąjūdis was based on. These are not pleasant things to remember. We've always had the impression that Estonians are undeservedly cocky – all of us have. Not to mention our politicians, especially those who've spent at least a term in power.

Lithuanian politicians have never particularly liked Estonians. While one patriarch Landbergis was fighting for stronger presidential powers for other patriarch's, Algirdas Brazauksas, sake, their young Prime Minister Mart Laar carried out all market reforms in a few months. Including health-care reforms that here, in Lithuania, are still to be concluded – thanks to the social democrats and the conservatives.

Estonians were the first ones to calmly and without being overly dramatic about “selling off sacred Estonian land” privatized state pastures, de-kolkhozed their agriculture and attracted so much foreign investment that our Seimas and Government officials still sink their eyes in shame.

While Estonians were busy with reforms necessary for their country's and nation's future, Landbergis & Co – including the social democrats and even liberals – kept looking back and pouring money from privatization into compensations for old depreciated deposits in Soviet roubles.

Estonians, meanwhile, used the privatization money to create market economy that would cater for both old and young. Lithuania's elders stuffed the money into stockings that have now become tempting targets for conmen of various sorts. Lithuanian youth, who hadn't had rouble savings and therefore didn't get anything, demonstrated what they think about it by moving to London sculleries and Andalusian orange farms.

Estonians introduced kroon right after they became independent. Of course, they were the first of the Baltic states to have the euro, while we slipped on a banana peal – inflation 0.1 percentage point higher than the mark. Estonian average pay is several hundred euro bigger than in Lithuania. Retirement pensions have always been more generous there. Their GDP grows faster.

We entered the global financial crisis with an annual budget deficit of several billion while Estonians entered it with a surplus. “The Economist” constantly pours praise on Estonia and only criticizes Lithuania. Estonians were building a legal system while we were toying with Duchies of Pagėgiai and Garliava – and with so much pathos at that.

How long are we going to put up with them? We know only too well – we are definitely better than Estonians. That is why now, after Landbergis rightful indignation, a time has come to show Estonians who's the real man in the Baltics. They had it coming – not only for awarding colonel Dabašinskas; for all the misfortunes of our national politics.

We, descendants of the suicidal duke Margiris, who do nothing while Muscovite clowns in Kaunas and Kėdainiai (Vladimir Romanov and Viktor Uspaskich – ed.) make mockery of us, will not rest until every single of our allies dance by Lithuanian flute.

War to the last (national) blood with Poland over w's. America got punched for what never even happened – CIA prison in a cubbyhole with canned pickles. Middle finger to Latvians, not information on what we're planning to do with Snoras bank that owns their Latvijas Krajbanka.

It's Estonians' turn to be put to their proper place. Let all the world know with whom we're building a new nuclear power plant in Visaginas. Hitachi, Lithuania!

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