Only those on top make calls

The Baltic Times - - BALTICS -

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

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