Saturday 16 December 2017

Ten things you didn't know about Estonia

1. The country suffered a 6-0 defeat in its first international soccer match, which was against Finland in 1920.

2. Estonia suffered terribly under Soviet occupation when it was invaded in 1940. Later in World War Two it was occupied by the Germans. It did not regain independence from Soviet control -- and the right to field an international football team -- until 1991.

3. It has one of the strongest economies of the new member states in the EU. The most important sectors are food, electronics and construction.

4. Estonia is regarded as the second least religious country in the world, with Evangelical Lutherans claiming the majority of supporters.

5. Over 60pc of scientists in Estonia are women.

6. The Estonian entry 'Everybody' won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001.

7. Apart from soccer, other popular sports include weightlifting, wrestling, cross-country skiing and athletics.

8. Russian is still spoken widely in many parts of the country.

9. The country has a higher standard of living than the other two 'Baltic Republics' of Latvia and Lithuania.

10. There was an upturn in the fortunes of the national soccer team with the appointment of the first foreign coach in the mid 1990s.

Irish Independent

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