Only those on top make calls
Does the US President, Donald Trump, still send jitters down your spine after each public appearance or following a shout-out on Twitter? But, the Donald Trump we saw in the US Congress delivering his first speech to the legislature has impressed many, including Vladimir Socor, a senior fellow at the Washington Dc-based Jamestown Foundation. “I think the speech showed a positive transformation in the way Donald Trump understands the world and his liabilities that he spoke of too… I think that Trump is undergoing a learning process,” the NATO and US foreign policy analyst insisted to The Baltic Times. Read our interview with him on pages 1 and 3. The rising wave of populist leaders and my apologies, if I offend anyone by calling Trump that way, has not yet brought THAT type of state leader to the Baltics – not a loss obviously, but some of the new Baltic leaders are worth attention. Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas, who was sworn in at the end of last year, takes up “a billion dollar question” on page 2- How to reach the innovation frontier and stay there, riding on a sequence of international success stories? As Estonia has chosen to adopt new technologies in the provision of public services, the country’s message for the world is, says the PM, that the efforts have paid off. “Technology alone does not deliver. But instead, the most valuable asset is our people,” notes the Estonian government head, attributing the success to the human capital. “Following the PISA test results, Estonia’s basic education is the best in Europe, and belongs to the worldwide top. Being a small country, we must additionally be able to attract competencies from the global market,” Ratas emphasises in his commentary. Meanwhile, Lithuania, which sometimes envies the northern neighbor’s accomplishments, might send some vibrant ripples across the region, if the new leader of the country’s Conservatives (TS-LKD), Gabrielius Landsbergis, comes to power. Having won a landslide victory in the party’s chairman primary, at the TS-LKD convention last week, he rolled out a far-reaching vision– for the party and the country. Yet, those in power make calls, so junior Landsbergis still has to find his way to the Lithuanian citizens’ hearts and minds. Will it happen? Let’s see, but if you’re not into politics, you may not want to puzzle your head with the guesseswill it or not-, so you probably will like our fashion and culture stories on pages 5, 12 and 13.
Linas Jegelevicius The Baltic Times editor-in-chief li[email protected]times.com