The parliament of Estonia rejected amendments to the law 'On Citizenship' in its second reading. Just 47 parliamentarians voted for the amendments, 51 needed.
According to the press service of the parliament, the amendments suggested by the ruling Center Party would reduce the waiting period for being granted citizenship from 1 year to 6 months. The authors of the changes decided to try and get them through the new parliament to be elected on March 2, 2003.
At this time, officially, there are 168,000 residents in Estonia who have no citizenship whatever. They hold so-called 'gray' passports and can not be naturalized either because their command of the Estonian language is not sufficient or for other reasons.
A school student is believed to be the person who set fire to the wooden church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (built in the 18th century)