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The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of three drafts:

With the Bill on Amendments to § 6 of the Estonian Flag Act (597 SE), initiated by the National Defence Committee on 19 February, the Veterans Day celebrated on 23 April will be designated a flag day.

According to “Policy regarding veterans of the defence forces and the defence league”, approved by the Government in December 2012, the Veterans Day is celebrated on 23 April. With the Veterans Day, thanks and recognition is expressed to those men and women who have taken part in the military defence of the Estonian state in the membership of the Defence Forces. Recognition is also expressed to those who have participated in an international operation or a collective self-defence operation in the membership of the Defence Forces and on the basis of the International Military Cooperation Act. Also, recognition is expressed to those who have become permanently incapacitated for work during the performance of their duties in the Defence Forces, or at a military training as active members of the Defence League. With their service, they have contributed to the building up and securing of the Estonian national defence, and therefore acknowledging them is of significant importance to the state and people of Estonia.

Aivar Riisalu took the floor during the debate.

The Bill on Amendments to the Land Tax Act Extending the Exemption of Home Owners from Land Tax (596 SE), initiated by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Estonian Reform Party Faction on 17 February, extends the current exemption of home owners from land tax.

First, the current restrictions of the tax exemption on the land under homes, based on area, that is, 0.15 ha in built-up areas and densely populated areas, and 2 ha in other places, will be applied separately to each joint owner and co-owner, and not jointly. This will put an end to the unequal treatment of owners of apartment ownerships, and joint owners and co-owners of immovables, on the basis of the form of ownership. Second, land under homes which is designated for multiple purposes, and which includes residential land or land parcels located within yards on profit yielding land, will be exempt from land tax also as regards other designated purposes of such land, with the current restrictions based on area, in the aggregate of all the designated purposes.

Kadri Simson and Sven Sester took the floor during the debate.

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Anti-Corruption Select Committee”” (634 OE), submitted by the Social Democratic Party Faction on 27 March, provides for appointment of Rein Randver instead of Andres Anvelt, and Jaak Allik instead of Helmen Kütt. Also, a proposal is made to appoint Kalvi Kõva as an alternate member of the Committee instead of Rein Randver, and Kalev Kotkas instead of Jaak Allik. The change of members is due to Andres Anvelt assuming the office of the Minister of Justice and Helmen Kütt assuming the office of the Minister of Social Affairs.

The Riigikogu decided to reject at the first reading the Bill on Amendments to the European Parliament Election Act and Other Acts (577 SE), initiated by Member of the Riigikogu Andres Herkel on 15 January.

The result of voting: 56 members of the Riigikogu in favour and 15 against.

The Riigikogu Press Service