Estonia Population: 1,244,288


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After centuries of Danish, Swedish, German, and Russian rule, Estonia attained independence in 1918. Forcibly incorporated into the USSR in 1940 - an action never recognized by the US and many other countries - it regained its freedom in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since the last Russian troops left in 1994, Estonia has been free to promote economic and political ties with the West. It joined both NATO and the EU in the spring of 2004, formally joined the OECD in late 2010, and adopted the euro as its official currency on 1 January 2011.

    The mainland terrain is flat, boggy, and partly wooded; offshore lie more than 1,500 islands
Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 59 00 N, 26 00 E
Area: total: 45,228 sq km
land: 42,388 sq km
water: 2,840 sq km

note: includes 1,520 islands in the Baltic Sea

Size comparison: about twice the size of New Jersey
Land Boundaries: total: 657 km border countries (2): Latvia 333 km, Russia 324 km
Coastline: 3,794 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: limits as agreed to by Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Sweden, and Russia
Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters, cool summers
Terrain: marshy, lowlands; flat in the north, hilly in the south
Natural resources: oil shale, peat, rare earth elements, phosphorite, clay, limestone, sand, dolomite, arable land, sea mud
Land use: agricultural land: 22.2% (2011 est.) arable land: 14.9% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 7.2% (2011 est.) forest: 52.1% (2011 est.)
other: 25.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 40 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: sometimes flooding occurs in the spring
Current Environment Issues: air polluted with sulfur dioxide from oil-shale burning power plants in northeast; however, the amounts of pollutants emitted to the air have fallen dramatically and the pollution load of wastewater at purification plants has decreased substantially due to improved technology and environmental monitoring; Estonia has more than 1,400 natural and manmade lakes, the smaller of which in agricultural areas need to be monitored; coastal seawater is polluted in certain locations
International Environment Agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Estonian(s)
adjective: Estonian
Ethnic groups: Estonian 68.7%, Russian 24.8%, Ukrainian 1.7%, Belarusian 1%, Finn 0.6%, other 1.6%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)
Languages: Estonian (official) 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, other 1.2%, unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
Religions: Orthodox 16.2%, Lutheran 9.9%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 2.2%, other 0.9%, none 54.1%, unspecified 16.7% (2011 est.)
Population: 1,244,288 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.3% (male 104,024 /female 98,757)
15-24 years: 8.8% (male 56,755 /female 52,711)
25-54 years: 41.07% (male 258,727 /female 252,304)
55-64 years: 13.63% (male 76,895 /female 92,759)
65 years and over: 20.2% (male 85,900 /female 165,456) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 53.7 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 24.8 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 28.9 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 3.5 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 43 years
male: 39.7 years
female: 46.4 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.6% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 9.9 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 12.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 68.9% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 0.01% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 437,000 TALLINN (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.52 male(s)/female
total population: 0.88 male(s)/female (2018 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth: 26.6 years (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 9 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.8 deaths/1,000 live births male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77 years male: 72.3 years
female: 82 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Physicians density: 3.47 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 5 beds/1,000 population (2015)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.6% of population

urban: 0% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 97.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 96.6% of population (2015 est.)
total: 97.2% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 3.4% of population (2015 est.)
total: 2.8% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.7% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5,700 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: <100 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 21.2% (2016)
Education expenditures: 5.2% of GDP (2015)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 16 years male: 15 years female: 17 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 12.1% male: 13.9% female: 10% (2017 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Estonia
conventional short form: Estonia
local long form: Eesti Vabariik
local short form: Eesti
former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the country name may derive from the Aesti, an ancient people who lived along the eastern Baltic Sea in the first centuries A.D.
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Tallinn
geographic coordinates: 59 26 N, 24 43 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
etymology: the Estonian name is generally believed to be derived from "Taani-linn" (originally meaning "Danish castle", now "Danish town") after a stronghold built in the area by the Danes; it could also have come from "tali-linn" ("winter castle" or "winter town") or "talu-linn" ("home castle" or "home town")
Administrative divisions: 15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond); Harjumaa (Tallinn), Hiiumaa (Kardla), Ida-Virumaa (Johvi), Jarvamaa (Paide), Jogevamaa (Jogeva), Laanemaa (Haapsalu), Laane-Virumaa (Rakvere), Parnumaa (Parnu), Polvamaa (Polva), Raplamaa (Rapla), Saaremaa (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)

note: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses
Independence: 20 August 1991 (declared); 6 September 1991 (recognized by the Soviet Union)
National holiday: Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 was the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia and established its statehood; 20 August 1991 was the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union restoring its statehood
Constitution: history: several previous; latest adopted 28 June 1992 amendments: proposed by at least one-fifth of Parliament members or by the president of the republic; passage requires three readings of the proposed amendment and a simple majority vote in two successive memberships of Parliament; passage of amendments to the "General Provisions" and "Amendment of the Constitution" chapters requires at least three-fifths majority vote by Parliament to conduct a referendum and majority vote in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal system: civil law system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal; age 16 for local elections
Executive branch: chief of state: President Kersti KALJULAID (since 10 October 2016)

head of government: Juri RATAS (since 23 November 2016)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); if a candidate does not secure two-thirds of the votes after 3 rounds of balloting, then an electoral college consisting of Parliament members and local council members elects the president, choosing between the 2 candidates with the highest number of votes; election last held on 29-30 August 2016, but three rounds were inconclusive; two electoral college votes on 24 September 2016 were also indecisive, so the election passed back to Parliament; on 3 October the Parliament elected Kersti KALJULAID as president; prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament

election results: Kersti KALJULAID elected president; Parliament vote - Kersti KALJULAID (independent) 81 of 98 votes; note - KALJULAID is Estonia's first female president
Legislative branch: description: unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 3 March 2019 (next to be held in March 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - RE 28.9%, K 23.1%, EKRE 17.8%, Pro Patria 11.4%, SDE 9.8%, other 9%; seats by party - RE 34, K 26, EKRE 19, Pro Patria 12, SDE 10; composition - men 72, women 29, percent of women 28.7%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 19 justices, including the chief justice, and organized into civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional review chambers) judge selection and term of office: the chief justice is proposed by the president of the republic and appointed by the Riigikogu; other justices proposed by the chief justice and appointed by the Riigikogu; justices appointed for life

subordinate courts: circuit (appellate) courts; administrative, county, city, and specialized courts
Political parties and leaders: Center Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) or K [Juri RATAS] Estonia 200 [Kristina KALLAS] Estonian Conservative People's Party (Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond) or EKRE [Mart HELME] Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) or RE [Kaja KALLAS] Free Party or EV [Andres HERKEL] Pro Patria (Isamaa) [Helir-Valdor SEEDER] Social Democratic Party or SDE [Jevgeni OSSINOVSKI]
International organization participation: Australia Group, BA, BIS, CBSS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA (cooperating state), EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): barn swallow, cornflower;
national colors: blue, black, white
National anthem: name: "Mu isamaa, mu onn ja room" (My Native Land, My Pride and Joy)
lyrics/music: Johann Voldemar JANNSEN/Fredrik PACIUS

note: adopted 1920, though banned between 1940 and 1990 under Soviet occupation; the anthem, used in Estonia since 1869, shares the same melody as Finland's but has different lyrics
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Jonatan VSEVIOV (since 17 September 2018)
chancery: 2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Elizabeth K. HORST
embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] 668-8100
FAX: [372] 668-8265
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Estonia, a member of the EU since 2004 and the euro zone since 2011, has a modern market-based economy and one of the higher per capita income levels in Central Europe and the Baltic region, but its economy is highly dependent on trade, leaving it vulnerable to external shocks. Estonia's successive governments have pursued a free market, pro-business economic agenda, and sound fiscal policies that have resulted in balanced budgets and the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in the EU. The economy benefits from strong electronics and telecommunications sectors and strong trade ties with Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Russia. The economy’s 4.9% GDP growth in 2017 was the fastest in the past six years, leaving the Estonian economy in its best position since the financial crisis 10 years ago. For the first time in many years, labor productivity increased faster than labor costs in 2017. Inflation also rose in 2017 to 3.5% alongside increased global prices for food and energy, which make up a large share of Estonia’s consumption. Estonia is challenged by a shortage of labor, both skilled and unskilled, although the government has amended its immigration law to allow easier hiring of highly qualified foreign workers, and wage growth that outpaces productivity gains. The government is also pursuing efforts to boost productivity growth with a focus on innovations that emphasize technology start-ups and e-commerce.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $41.65 billion (2017 est.) $39.72 billion (2016 est.) $38.92 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $25.97 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.9% (2017 est.) 2.1% (2016 est.) 1.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $31,700 (2017 est.) $30,200 (2016 est.) $29,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 27% of GDP (2017 est.) 24.6% of GDP (2016 est.) 25.8% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 50.3% (2017 est.) government consumption: 20.4% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 2.2% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 77.2% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -74% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 2.8% (2017 est.) industry: 29.2% (2017 est.) services: 68.1% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: grain, potatoes, vegetables; livestock and dairy products; fish
Industries: food, engineering, electronics, wood and wood products, textiles; information technology, telecommunications
Industrial production growth rate: 9.5% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 670,200 (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 20.5%
services: 76.8% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate: 5.8% (2017 est.) 6.8% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 21.1% (2016 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 25.6% (2015)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 34.8 (2015) 35.6 (2014)
Budget: revenues: 10.37 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 10.44 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 39.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -0.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 9% of GDP (2017 est.) 9.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities, including sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government, and social security funds
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.7% (2017 est.) 0.8% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $809 million (2017 est.) $443 million (2016 est.)
Exports: $13.44 billion (2017 est.) $12.36 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 30%, food products and beverages 9%, mineral fuels 6%, wood and wood products 14%, articles of base metals 7%, furniture and bedding 11%, vehicles and parts 3%, chemicals 4% (2016 est.)
Exports - partners: Finland 16.2%, Sweden 13.5%, Latvia 9.2%, Russia 7.3%, Germany 6.9%, Lithuania 5.9% (2017)
Imports: $14.42 billion (2017 est.) $13.23 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and electrical equipment 28%, mineral fuels 11%, food and food products 10%, vehicles 9%, chemical products 8%, metals 8% (2015 est.)
Imports - partners: Finland 14%, Germany 10.7%, Lithuania 8.9%, Sweden 8.5%, Latvia 8.2%, Poland 7.2%, Russia 6.7%, Netherlands 5.9%, China 4.7% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $345 million (31 December 2017 est.) $352.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $19.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $18.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $27.05 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $22.19 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $10.96 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $9.396 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $3.102 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $2.407 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $2.045 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rates: euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.92 (2017 est.) 0.9 (2016 est.) 0.9214 (2015 est.) 0.885 (2014 est.) 0.7634 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 11.55 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 8.795 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 5.613 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 3.577 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 2.578 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 72% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 28% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 28,300 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 27,150 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 35,520 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 481.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 481.4 million cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 5.306 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 1,904,425
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 152 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: range of regulatory measures competition and foreign investment in the form of joint business ventures greatly improved telephone service with a wide range of high-quality voice, data, and Internet services available; one of the most advanced mobile markets in Europe; 5G trials for further growth commercially available by 2020; highest broadband penetration in Europe (2018)

domestic: 29 per 100 for fixed-line and 152 per 100 for mobile-cellular; substantial fiber-optic cable systems carry telephone, TV, and radio traffic in the digital mode; Internet services are widely available; schools and libraries are connected to the Internet, a large percentage of the population files income tax returns online, and online voting - in local and parliamentary elections - has climbed steadily since first introduced in 2005; 85% of Estonian households have broadband access (2018)

international: country code - 372; fiber-optic cables to Finland, Sweden, Latvia, and Russia provide worldwide packet-switched service; 2 international switches are located in Tallinn
Broadcast media: the publicly owned broadcaster, Eesti Rahvusringhaaling (ERR), operates 3 TV channels and 5 radio networks; growing number of private commercial radio stations broadcasting nationally, regionally, and locally; fully transitioned to digital television in 2010; national private TV channels expanding service; a range of channels are aimed at Russian-speaking viewers; in 2016, there were 42 on-demand services available in Estonia, including 19 pay TVOD and SVOD services; roughly 85% of households accessed digital television services
Internet country code: .ee
Internet users: total: 1,097,921
percent of population: 87.2% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 18 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 13
(2017) over 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2012)
Pipelines: 2360 km gas (2016)
Railways: total 2,146 km
(2016) broad gauge: 2,146 km 1.520-m and 1.524-m gauge (132 km electrified) (2016)

note: includes 1,510 km public and 636 km non-public railway
Roadways: total 58,412 km
(includes urban roads) (2011) paved: 10,427 km (includes 115 km of expressways) (2011)
unpaved: 47,985 km (2011)
Waterways: 335 km (320 km are navigable year-round) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 74

by type: general cargo 8, oil tanker 6, other 60 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Kuivastu, Kunda, Muuga, Parnu Reid, Sillamae, Tallinn
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Military branches: Estonian Defense Forces (Eesti Kaitsevagi): Ground Forces (Maavagi), Navy (Merevagi), Air Force (Ohuvagi), Reserves (Kaitseliit) (2016)
Military service age and obligation: 18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service, conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; NCOs, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months (2016)
Military expenditures: 2.08% of GDP (2017) 2.13% of GDP (2016) 2.05% of GDP (2015) 1.95% of GDP (2014) 1.91% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Russia and Estonia in May 2005 signed a technical border agreement, but Russia in June 2005 recalled its signature after the Estonian parliament added to its domestic ratification act a historical preamble referencing the Soviet occupation and Estonia's pre-war borders under the 1920 Treaty of Tartu; Russia contends that the preamble allows Estonia to make territorial claims on Russia in the future, while Estonian officials deny that the preamble has any legal impact on the treaty text; Russia demands better treatment of the Russian-speaking population in Estonia; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Estonia implements strict Schengen border rules with Russia
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 77,877 (2018); note - following independence in 1991, automatic citizenship was restricted to those who were Estonian citizens prior to the 1940 Soviet occupation and their descendants; thousands of ethnic Russians remained stateless when forced to choose between passing Estonian language and citizenship tests or applying for Russian citizenship; one reason for demurring on Estonian citizenship was to retain the right of visa-free travel to Russia; stateless residents can vote in local elections but not general elections; stateless parents who have been lawful residents of Estonia for at least five years can apply for citizenship for their children before they turn 15 years old
Illicit drugs: growing producer of synthetic drugs; increasingly important transshipment zone for cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic drugs since joining the European Union and the Schengen Accord; potential money laundering related to organized crime and drug trafficking is a concern, as is possible use of the gambling sector to launder funds; major use of opiates and ecstasy
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