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The Equal Treatment Bill (67 SE), initiated by the Government, was not passed in the Riigikogu due to disagreements. 51 votes were needed for the Act to be passed. However, the result of voting was 50 votes in favour and 33 against. Thus, the Bill was withdrawn from the legislative proceeding. The Bill was to ensure that everyone was protected against discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, colour, religion or beliefs, age, disability or sexual orientation. Among other things, the Bill proposed that an equal treatment commissioner be appointed to office.  

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of five Bills

The Bill on Amendments to the Savings and Loan Associations Act and the Credit Institutions Act (240 SE), initiated by the Government, the purpose of which is to eliminate the restrictions which hinder the development of savings and loan associations. The Bill also adjusts the requirements for the financial soundness of savings and loan associations. 

The Bill on the Ratification of the Agreement on taking account of the periods of insurance completed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (229 SE), initiated by the Government, ratifying the Agreement on taking account of the periods of insurance completed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, signed in Tallinn on 24 August 2007. The Bill repeals the earlier Agreement entered into in 1996. The legal background of its scope of application has changed significantly as compared to the time of signature of the former Agreement because at the time when the Agreement was signed Estonia and Lithuania were not yet part of the EU social security coordination system. Pursuant to the Agreement to be ratified, the state of the party in whose territory a longer period of insurance was completed will take account of the periods of insurance completed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and will pay the pension. 

The Bill on the Ratification of the Agreement on taking account of the periods of insurance completed in the territory of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Latvia (230 SE), initiated by the Government, ratifying the Agreement on taking account of the periods of insurance completed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Latvia, signed in Tallinn on 12 October 2007. The Bill repeals the earlier Agreement entered into in 1996. The Agreement is entered into based on the same principles as in the case of the Agreement with Lithuania. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Establishment of Cause of Death Act (242 SE), initiated by the Government, the purpose of which is to grant to doctors accompanying military missions the authority to issue death certificates in Estonian which would be equal in validity to death certificates issued by family physicians or heads of ambulance crew. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Defence Forces Service Act (244 SE), initiated by the Government, the purpose of which is to harmonise the level of education of members of the Defence Forces of Estonia with the level of education required in the corresponding office by NATO member states and EU member states, to enable officers who have acquired civilian higher education to serve in positions of commanding officer, and to postpone by four years the general term of compliance with the requirements for education as provided by law. The entry into force of the Bill will enable continuation of service for the regular members of the Defence Forces who have acquired civilian higher education or a training which complies with the requirements for education at a military school of a NATO or EU member state, and officers who have commenced acquisition of higher education which is vital in the current situation of lack of qualified staff. 

At Question Time, the Minister of Justice Rein Lang answered questions about civilian control, punishments for littering, and the Employment Contracts Act. The Minister of Finance Ivari Padar answered questions about budget. Minister Urve Palo answered questions about child care. 

The Riigikogu Press Service 

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