Why Estonians need to work on Easter Monday?

09.04.2012, 15:48

Eesti Päevaleht writes in its editorial that in Europe only Estonia, Belarus, Portugal and Turkey refuse to make Easter Monday a public holiday.

It’s interesting to note that the state has been more determined to keep Easter Monday a regular working day than it has been in sticking to the daylight saving time (Estonia opted out from daylight saving time in 1990-1996 and 2000-2001).

However, the impact of having Easter Monday a working day in Estonia is affecting the country’s life more than daylight saving since it puts us in the different rhythm than the rest of Europe.

We can probably manage by knowing that there will be no interbank transactions or that we must suspend our cross-border business with Scandinavian neighbours for one day since our partners in Scandinavia, Latvia or Lithuania have a day off.

A year ago Centre Party asked the government to consider making Easter Monday a public holiday, saying that Estonia was economically too closely linked to Europe to opt out.

The parliamentary constitutional committee said in its opinion that it was not clear whether having another religious public holiday would be justified or not.

While one can say that Estonians are not a particularly religious nation, making Easter Monday a public holiday would be most logical and natural.

The government responded to the proposal by saying that it was unclear what will be the impact on the domestic economy and it could reduce people’s income.

While it is true that the Centre Party had not done any calculations and only stated that having an extra day off would not make Estonia’s average working week shorter than the EU average, it is quite clear that it would not have a significant economic impact on Estonia.

At present Estonia has 11 public holidays, less than many other European countries.