According to minister of public affairs of Estonia Paul-Eric Rummo, the entire process of naturalization has exceeded his expectations.
The government has approved the integration program up until the year 2007. The program undermines that a number of new citizens in the country will increase by 5 000 people. “Now we feel that the estimated 5 000 people per year appears to be quite low. Most likely, this year there will be more residents in the country,” stated the minister Thursday. According to him, a number of those who have registered to take the mandatory language exam serve as the basis for such statement.
Since the day Estonia acquired its independence in 1991 and until May 31 of this year, the country has granted citizenship to 126 776 applicants.
Additional 129 people received their naturalization on Thursday. Today, there are nearly 160 000 non-naturalized people living in Estonia.