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Estonia

free send sms worldwideEstonia (older English spelling Esthonia), officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. Estonia has land borders to the south with Latvia and Russia to the east. It is separated from Finland in the north by the narrow Gulf of Finland and from Sweden in the west by the Baltic Sea.

Estonia has been a member of the European Union since May 1, 2004 and of the NATO since March 29, 2004. Along with Finnish, Hungarian and Maltese, Estonian is one of the few official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin.

Politics

Estonia is a constitutional democracy, with a president elected by its unicameral parliament (elections are held every four years). The government or the executive branch is formed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and a total of 14 ministers. The government is appointed by the president after approval by the parliament.

The legislative power lies with the unicameral parliament, the Riigikogu or State Assembly, which consists of 101 seats. Members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. The supreme judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court or Riigikohus, with 19 justices. The Chief Justice is appointed by the parliament for nine years on nomination by the president.

Counties

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Estonia is divided into 15 counties. They include:

  • Harju County (Estonian: Harjumaa)
  • Hiiu County (Estonian: Hiiumaa)
  • Ida-Viru County (Estonian: Ida-Virumaa)
  • Jarva County (Estonian: Jarvamaa)
  • Jogeva County (Estonian: Jogevamaa)
  • Laane County (Estonian: Laanemaa)
  • Laane-Viru County (Estonian: Laane-Virumaa)
  • Parnu County (Estonian: Parnumaa)
  • Polva County (Estonian: Polvamaa)
  • Rapla County (Estonian: Raplamaa)
  • Saare County (Estonian: Saaremaa)
  • Tartu County (Estonian: Tartumaa)
  • Valga County (Estonian: Valgamaa)
  • Viljandi County (Estonian: Viljandimaa)
  • Voru County (Estonian: Vorumaa)
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