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Politics
Even though education is a matter close to the heart of Estonia 200 leader Kristina Kallas, she cannot imagine herself fighting for the post of education minister: ideas can also be realized by someone else. You just took away Postimees’ editor-in-chief. In your opinion, how is the editorial to feel? Lauri [Hussar] had to give the matter thought, and I presume he did. We talked about why he wants to go into politics. Still, to what extent do you imagine wh...
Society
TALLINN – Russia is seeking integration in Estonia only in words, Kalev Stoicescu, researcher at the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) who is running on the ticket of the Estonia 200 party in the March 3 general elections, said on Wednesday commenting on the words said on the subject by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  "Russia is the only neighboring state which does not wish -- due to its own interests -- progress in integration...
Politics
Former top centrist Evelyn Sepp admitted that she donated money the origin of which was unknown to her to the Center Party in 2006. The former politician claimed other members also engaged in the practice but refused to name names. Sepp’s confession on ETV investigative journalism program «Pealtnägija» does not come as a total bombshell. She first said that such covert funding of parties is a widespread practice in the aftermath of the Silvergate scandal i...
Society
"In addition to our ongoing programme of passenger vessel renovations, we are also continuing to upgrade and modernise our cargo vessels to ensure that we continue to develop this important part of our business," he noted, adding that the relocation of the company's Estonia-Finland cargo route to Muuga on the Estonian side in October 2017 and the launch of the Smart Port solution in Tallinn's Old City Harbour in spring 2018 both contributed to improved ser...
Society
During the final week of 2018, a total of 2,524 patients with viral upper respiratory infections sought medical attention, 47.5% of whom were children. A total of 210 cases of influenza were laboratory confirmed, nearly twice as many as during the week before, according to Health Board data. Over the past two weeks, the number of flu cases has quadrupled. The majority of these cases were laboratory confirmed at emergency medical departments, from which pat...
Society
I actually think that B1 is too low of a bar for attaining citizenship. You still can't participate in Estonian society on anything other than a superficial level as noted above, so I'm not sure how you can constitute a "citizen" on that basis. Naturally there has to be a high degree of arbitrariness, and that's precisely the point — whilst B1 level might be sufficient in German or French (I understand that it is the benchmark level when applying for citiz...
Society
Following a white Christmas throughout most of Estonia, Wednesday will see sleet and even rain in parts of the country, and temperatures hovering around the freezing point will means slippery road conditions. Early Wednesday morning, many major highways were salted or wet, but some patches were still icy, the Estonian Road Administration said. Eastern parts of the country will see scattered rain or sleet. Temperatures throughout the day will remain around...
Society
Last weekend, Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day and Boxing Day still ahead means that most chemist's shops are closed for five days in a row. Tallinners can still get hold of prescription as well as over-the-counter drugs in the 5 Tõnismägi St and 19 Vikerlase St shops. As doctors' practices are closed for the holidays as well, people will have to turn to the emergency room of a nearby hospital in case of any more serious health problems. In Tallinn,...
Society
Irene Ilves, the mother of former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, died on Tuesday aged 91. Irene Ilves was born on 6 January 1927. An Estonian refugee, she raised her family in New Jersey, on the US East Coast. She is survived by two sons, Andres Eerik and Toomas Hendrik, and four grandchildren, Juulia Kristiine, Luukas Kristjan, Kadri Keiu and Hans Hendrik, Mr Ilves wrote on social media on Wednesday, adding that she will be very missed by family and frie...
Society
Emergency services were called out on Wednesday morning after a man fell through ice at Lake Pühajärv, in South Estonia. The call was received by the Rescue Board at a little after 9.30, though by the time emergency personnel reached the scene, the man, who had walked on to the lake ice to go fishing, had extricated himself and reached dry land. The man stated that he had broken through the ice several times during his ordeal, after venturing about 50 m fr...
Society
The e-Residency programme introduced its new white paper on Tuesday, outlining the next steps to be taken in Estonia's extension of its state services to non-physical residents. While the paper itself is rather on the bland side, offering little new information, the implications are in fact considerable, as two of the programme's masterminds explained to ERR News. The e-Residency 2.0 White Paper itself doesn't offer much in terms of new insight. The target...
Society
US arms manufacturer Sig Sauer Inc. has challenged an automatic firearms procurement conducted by the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI) in which the tender submitted by US arms manufacturer Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) was deemed successful. Sig Sauer was one of three companies whose offers were deemed as having met the minimum requirements of the procurement; the others were Germany's Heckler & Koch GmbH and the US' LMT. Sig Sauer conte...
Society
The European Commission has approved five large-scale infrastructure projects of the Estonia-Russia cross-border cooperation program, including the continuation of building restoration and road works along the border in the amount of more than €20 million. The projects include the further restoration of the citadel ensemble of Narva and Ivangorod, the renovation of both cities' riverside promenades and the Värska-Saatse-Ultina and Krupp-Kulje roads in the...
Society
Estonia's biggest banks are reminding their customers ahead of the upcoming holidays that interbank transfers will be significantly affected by the upcoming Christmas holidays — even beginning as soon as this weekend. Swedbank announced that if an interbank transfer has not been completed by the end of the business day on Friday, 21 December, the money sent will only be received by the other bank next Thursday, 27 December. SEB and LHV both noted that they...
Society
In a doctoral thesis successfully defended at Tallinn University (TLÜ) on Monday, Dr Maarja Merivoo-Parro examined what Estonian life was like in the Cold War-era United States and how this manifested in humor, music, education, recreation and academic mobility. Following the abolishment of serfdom, Estonians have been involved in a number of significant waves of migration, both voluntary and involuntary. It is due to this migration that Estonians have a w...
Society
At the Riigikogu sitting beginning at 10:00 EET on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) will provide an overview of the activities of the Estonian government in the implementation of EU policies. Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Toomas Vitsut (Centre) will also deliver a report, and representatives of the Riigikogu's parliamentary groups will present their positions, according to a Riigikogu press release. In his rep...
Society
Chairman of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme has called on Helir-Valdor Seeder, chairman of junior coalition member Pro Patria to tie the latter's support for the state budget bill to a decision by the government not to support joining the UN Global Compact on Migration. "Pro Patria still has the chance to demand from its coalition partners [the Center Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDE)] that its stances be t...
Society
Political news portal Politico published its list of the most influential people in Europe next year last week, with fifth place going to Estonia’s cybersecurity ambassador Heli Tiirmaa-Klaar. Tiirmaa-Klaar takes her place in between well-known Europeans, after Secretary General of the European Commission Martin Selmayr and in front of Ukrainian presidential hopeful Yulia Tymoshenko. Politico believes Italy’s populist interior minister Matteo Salvini will...
Society
Representatives of the transport ministries of the Baltic states, Finland and Poland who met in Tallinn on Monday were of differing opinions regarding whether to remain in summer or winter time once the practice of changing the clocks twice per year comes to an end. A recent survey indicates that more than half of Estonians would prefer permanent summer time. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Poland jointly acknowledged that the agreement to end the...
Society
Ida-Viru Central Hospital is having trouble with patients not showing up to scheduled specialist appointments. To combat this issue, beginning next year, the hospital will start charging visit fees for no-show appointments as well. Last year, patients at Ida-Viru Central Hospital failed to show up for scheduled appointments a total of nearly 9,500 times, accounting for some 5% of all hospital visits, reported ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera. "Patients...
Society
Tallinn city government finds that it is not reasonable to relocate the Tallinn Bus Station to the Ülemiste district near Tallinn Airport and that it should be left in its current location on Lastekodu Street. In connection with the preparation of an architectural idea competition and the drawing up of a detailed plan for the Ülemiste terminal in the framework of the Rail Baltic railway project, the city is drawing the attention of the Ministry of Economic...
Society
A criminal investigation has been launched into the Medita Clinic, one of the largest private sector bidders in public procurement tenders in the health sector in Estonia. The Northern District Prosecutor's Office initiated the investigation in accordance with the Penal Code section concerning the transmission of false information, according to ETV investigative show Pealtnägija. The Medita Clinic was the largest private provider of specialist medical care...
Society
The Tax and Customs Board (MTA) has signed an agreement with Online accommodation and hospitality marketplace Airbnb which enables hosts to automatically report earnings. The MTA and Airbnb held a joint press conference on Wednesday, announcing the agreement's signing as well as the new system and its rationale. The main premise, according to MTA deputy director Rivo Reitmann, is to keep things simple, meaning that Airbnb hosts who declare their income in...
Society
Luminor notified its clients that as of 1 January, the bank will be closing the accounts of Estonian e-residents that fail to fulfil due diligence. Hannes Oja, head of Anti-Money Laundering at Luminor Estonia, said that based on the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, banks are required to update the data of all of their customers, writes daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL). As a result, all existing clients have to do so themselves on a regul...
Society
The Russian Embassy in Tallinn on Tuesday published a statement criticising the statement in support of Ukraine adopted by the Riigikogu on Monday. Commenting on the statement with which the Riigikogu on Monday condemned the attack on Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, the Russian Embassy referenced the famous quote by Roman statesman Cato the Elder, who used to conclude his speeches in the Senate by saying, "Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must...
Society
A widely-read travel magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, has declared the Christmas market in Tallinn as one of the most charming in Europe. “Why we love it: In addition to Estonian Christmas dishes like black pudding and sour cabbage (it’s better than it sounds, we swear), Tallinn’s market in the Town Hall Square also has a Santa who arrives by reindeer-pulled sleigh,” the magazine says. “The highlight, though, is its Christmas tree, which the city has been pu...
Artist's impression of the proposed Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel
Dubai engineering solutions giant ARJ Holding Ltd is investing €100 million in the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel project, tunnel designer Peter Vesterbacka announced at a press conference on Monday. Mr Vesterbacka, chief of FinEst Bay Area, the group behind the tunnel project, pointed out the total cost of the tunnel stands at €15 billion, with an investment period of 30 years; the tunnel itself has a projected life span of 120 years, he said. Finest Bay Area Le...
Society
Centre Party chairman and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas as well as Reform Party chairman Kaja Kallas have recently said that they won't consider working with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) following next year's general election. EKRE was considered the potential kingmaker earlier on in the campaign, and both the Centre Party and the Reform Party took time to clarify where they stand in the issue of a potential coalition with the far-right pa...
Society
MEP Indrek Tarand, who has promised to run in the election list of the Social Democrat Party (SDE) in March, found himself in a tussle at a Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) protest meeting in front of the Riigikogu building yesterday. EKRE scheduled the protest to take place at the same time the Riigikogu was to vote on a declaration in support of the UN global compact on migration. “If you do not want hundreds of thousands of refugees to come here, vote...
Society
The police will be issuing the first new ID-cards from December 3. Because French manufacturer Idemia needs more time to fill the order, the cards will become publicly available a few weeks later. Unfortunately, Estonian companies are not ready to support the new cards. Only ISP Elisa and the tax and customs board (MTA) have updated their e-services to support the new digital IDs. Companies were given six months to adjust systems. The State Information Sys...
Society
On Monday the Riigikogu will debate and vote on its declaration of support for the UN Compact on Migration. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) has announced that his next actions will depend on the outcome of the parliamentary vote, announcing that he is ready to have the coalition government vote on the Compact as well if needed. The Monday sitting starts at 10.00 EEST. The parliament will first debate and vote on proposed amendments to the text of the de...
Society
A look at the business register revels that a new party called Will of the People was registered in Tartu County yesterday the founding campaign of which was based on a smartphone raffle. While little is known about the new party’s founders, it has an operational website from September 9 this year. The party was founded by Tartu residents Madis and Eha Sütt who are busy trying to launch online television channel Entusiast TV. “We got around 500 members. Ye...
Society
The Estonian government sharply condemned Russia for its actions against Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait on Sunday. Russian forces first stopped, then fired on and seized two Ukrainian gunboats as well as a tug. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas called the actions a "serious breach of international law." "The incident in Kerch Strait is a serious breach of international law. I condemn Russia's seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels, blocking of the Kerch Strait...
Society
Resident of Tartu’s Tammelinn borough Märt Vagur was the last member of his family to still be up at 2.30 yesterday morning when a flash of light in his backyard drew his attention to a group of men who appeared to be trying to steal the family’s BMW SUV. Vagur promptly dialed 112 which led to a major police operation that lasted into yesterday evening. It took officers responding to the call three minutes to arrive at the scene that sent the car thieves r...
Politics
Chairman of the Social Democrat Party (SDE) Jevgeni Ossinovski said in late January that the government is done making fundamental decisions and development has been put on hold. It now turns out that the government’s health has deteriorated further, and a recovery is no longer in the stars – the government failed to reach consensus concerning the UN Global Compact for Migration, which means Estonia will not be joining. The situation boils down to a virtua...
Society
Members of the Chasseurs Ardennais battalion of the Belgian Armed Forces are to join the multinational NATO battalion in Estonia early next year. Approximately 200 members of the Chasseurs Ardennais battalion will be deployed to Estonia, equipped with infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), SPIKE antitank missiles, and 120mm mortars, and complete with a combat engineer and combat support unit. The unit is to arrive in Estonia with some 100 pieces of combat equi...
Society
According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Tuesday morning, last month, the producer price index (PPI) of industrial output increased by 0.3% compared to September 2018 and 2.8% compared to October 2017. Compared to the previous month, the PPI in October was affected more than average by a price increase in the manufacture of electronic equipment and in mining and quarrying, but also by a price decrease in electricity, gas, steam and air co...
Politics
More than half of all Estonian residents support as liberal an alcohol policy as possible or one with few restrictions (54% in all), while another third favour more stringent restrictions, according to the alcohol yearbook, titled "Market, consumption and damages of alcohol in Estonia," introduced at a National Institute for Health Development (NIHD) conference on Tuesday. According to a poll conducted by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research (EKI),...
Society
Trying to keep on top of the movements of the political parties in Estonia can be a bit like herding the proverbial cats at times, particularly now we're in election season. From an "anglophone"* perspective, there are plenty of parties — around nine in all, three in government, three in opposition and three more potentially winning a few seats in March. This compares with three and a half parties in Britain (UKIP is the "half"), outside of Northern Irelan...
Politics
The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia has in large part decided its top candidates for the March 2019 Riigikogu elections, to be officially confirmed by the party board on Friday. EKRE's top candidate for Harju and Rapla Counties, Estonia's largest electoral district, will be MP Henn Põlluaas. Party chairman Mart Helme, meanwhile, will run in the number one spot in Pärnu County. Monika Helme will top the party's election list in Lääne, Saar...
Society
Hot on the heels of the Social Democratic (SDE) and Reform parties announcing their primary candidates in each of the 12 electoral districts at the March 2019 general election, ruling coaltion majority party Centre has done the same. Centre, from whose ranks Prime Minister Jüri Ratas comes, will run the latter in Harju and Rapla counties, with three current ministers, one MEP and the deputy head of the Riigikogu joining him as front-runners in other distri...
Society
Prosecutor General Lavly Perling will present an overview of requests for legal help, originating from the Russian Federation, to the Riigikogu on Tuesday. Letters from Russian authorities in 2012 and 2014 reportedly made clear reference to money laundering activity and requested witness input. According to business daily Äripäev, Ms Perling confirmed the letters contained direct reference to money laundering but were confidential and their contents not or...
Society
Coalition partner the Social Democratic party (SDE) has announced its top riders for the March 2019 elections in Estonia's 12 electoral districts, though its full list will be confirmed in December, the party says. There are no real surprises on a well-stocked list which includes the recently-attracted Indrek Tarad, currently still an independent MEP. Mr Tarand, whilst standing for SDE, has not as yet become a party member. Since the system in Estonia is a...
Society
According to Statistics Estonia, the change of the consumer price index in October 2018 was 0.5% compared to September and 4.4% compared to October of the previous year. Goods were 3.7% and services 5.7% more expensive compared to October 2017, while regulated prices of goods and services increased by 9.1%, and non-regulated prices by 3.1%. Compared to October 2017, the consumer price index was affected the most by transport, which contributed nearly a thi...
Society
The Ministry of Culture has rejected the request of English-language web magazine Estonian World (EW) for support from the state to to the tune of €5,000 for the remainder of 2018. The ministry has, however, promised to seek opportunities for supporting the portal in 2019. "Unfortunately, the support to this extent of English-language Estonian media outlets is not provided for in the agenda and budget of the government-approved Compatriots Programme for th...
Society
Last Wednesday, Theatre NO99 abruptly announced that it would be closing its doors, with its final performances scheduled for November and December. The theatre will be vacating a large building at the Central Tallinn address of Sakala 3, interest in which has been expressed by Sakala Skene, a new open centre for the performing arts and theatre education. Sakala Skene is a new brand uniting Polygon Theatre and Polygon Threatre School, Old Baskin's Theatre,...
Sports
The European Athletics Council has decided to award the right to host the European Athletics Under 20 Championships in 2021 to the Estonian Athletic Association, which will stage the event at Tallinn's Kadriorg Stadium. The same format was previously successfully hosted by the Estonian Athletic Association in 2011, in collaboration with the City of Tallinn. At the European Athletics Council meeting in Budapest, the Estonian bid to host the event was presen...
Society
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reopened the Estonian embassy in Budapest. The ministry announced the step on social media on Monday, saying that starting 5 November the embassy is offering consular services again. The embassy is providing consular services and assistance starting 5 November. Anyone who would like their documents issued there can indicate so on the application form, the ministry said. Consular services are available by advance appointm...
Society
Every day, some 30 people in Estonia call the Health Board complaining that a family doctor in Tallinn won't take them as a patient even though they technically have room on their patient rosters to accept new patients. Family doctors, however, find that working with too large a patient list could jeopardise the quality and accessibility of their care. Estonian Society of Family Doctors chairperson Le Vallikivi explained to daily Postimees that they are fa...
Society
Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) Riigikogu group chair Martin Helme has paid to boost his social media presence and used Riigikogu expenses benefits to pay for highlighting posts, a recent Riigikogu Chancellery document reveals. Postimees wrote earlier in the week about EKRE’s social media success and how their messages seem to reach more voters. Facebook’s company pages can be highlighted to reach more people. But the practice costs money. Bought posts...
Society
40% of employers in Estonia intend to increase their employees' wage levels, while 39% are planning on creating new positions and 70% intend to hire new employees to replace outgoing workers and fill temporary or new positions, it appears from a survey conducted by recruitment portal CVKeskus.ee and the Salary Information Agency. "40% of employers are planning to raise their employees' basic salaries, which is indicative of the wage pressures resulting fro...
Society
Laine Randjärv, how unexpected was the decision you will not become the head of Estonian Concert? Considering what has been said behind the curtains the past few days and the media frenzy, it was to be expected. That it came to this is surprising and disgruntling. You have become a symbol of greed who wanted to leave the Riigikogu with roughly €21,000. Now, it has cost you a position you would have been good in, while it is likely you will get the benefit....
Society
The council of the Estonian Concert Foundation decided yesterday not to sign a contract with Reform Party MP Laine Randjärv who had previously been unanimously chosen as the foundation’s new director. Randjärv, who was initially found to be the best candidate, lost the council’s favor over 41 days as the MP unexpectedly expressed desire to start work two months later than agreed – right at the end of her term in the Riigikogu that would have entitled her t...
Society
According to Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Volkan Bozkır, Estonia is concealing terrorists from them. In an interview with daily Postimees, Bozkır said that Estonia has some members of the organisation FETÖ (the outlawed Fethullah Gülen movement) that Turkey wants back, but he did not specify the exact number thereof. "But we are asking your authorities why they won't extradite terrorists to a friendly c...
Society
Companies, nonprofits and foundations registered in Estonia, including businesses with just one owner, are required to submit information regarding their actual beneficiaries to the Commercial Register by Tuesday, 30 October. While 30 October is the deadline for beneficial ownership reporting, the opportunity to file such reports will remain permanently, the Ministry of Finance said on Wednesday. The data can be filed via the company registration portal of...
Politics
The production of electricity from oil shale in Estonia must end by 2040, Reform Party MP and former Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said in the Riigikogu on Tuesday. "Everyone who grasps the severity of global climate tensions understands that the time for energy production that imposes an environmental burden is coming to an end," Pentus-Rosimannus said at the Riigikogu's discussion of oil shale production as an issue of national impor...
Society
Viimsi rural municipality mayor Siim Kallas, who has spent years serving in important offices in Brussels, describes as slander claims that the Reform Party ensured its long reign in Estonian politics by backstabbing its coalition partners and suggests those making such claims take a look in the mirror. Rumor has it you will lead the Reform Party’s election list in Tallinn’s city center district come March. Is that true? It has not been formally decided ye...
Society
The Ministry of Education and Research has, after years of debates, secured the government’s approval for draft legislation to determine situations in which teachers have the right to search students. Amendments to the basic and secondary schools act plan to allow teachers to confiscate illegal or prohibited substances and items. The latter include guns and explosives but also alcohol and drugs. Teachers would be able to search students, their backpacks an...
Society
One month following the first ever World Cleanup Day (WCD), the official number of participants in the world's largest coordinated civic clean-up event has increased to 17 million participants. On 15 September, 158 countries and territories joined the so-called "green wave," a series of cleanups that began in Fiji and swept across the planet to finish in the American Samoa, WCD said in a press release - writes err.ee Six tropical cyclones affected more tha...
Society
The Board of the Riigikogu on Tuesday approved changes to the lineups of four Riigikogu committees. The board confirmed Maire Aunaste's departure from the Foreign Affairs Committee as well as her joining of the Social Affairs Committee. It also confirmed the departure of Mart Nutt from the Constitutional Committee and his joining the Foreign Affairs Committee. Likewise confirmed were the departure of Marko Mihkelson from the European Union Affairs Committe...
Society
Estonia was ranked 32nd overall in the fresh 2018 Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Compared to last year's rankings, Estonia has dropped two spots, reported ERR's radio news. The rankings were topped this year by the US, Singapore and Germany. Switzerland, which had topped the rankings for nine years, dropped to fourth place this year. Of Estonia's neighbours, Finland ranked 11th, Lithuania 40th, Latvia 42nd and Russian 43rd....
Society
A conscript from the 1st Infantry Brigade of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) died in hospital on Tuesday following a sudden serious illness. On Monday evening, the conscript had complained of difficulty breathing after going to the gym. An ambulance was called and they were transported to Rakvere Hospital. A day later, the conscript died of a sudden serious illness at North Estonia Medical Centre (PERH). A memorial formation was held in their honour at T...
Society
Over 283 thousand passengers passed through Tallinn Airport in September. Compared to last year, the number of passengers increased by 6.4%. It was the lowest growth indicator in the past 20 months but considering the high level related to the EU presidency events last September, the growth figure can still be considered very positive. The effect of the presidency is especially noticeable in the drastic change in the growth figures of Finnair, Lufthansa an...
Society
According to information released by Statistics Estonia on Wednesday morning, in August 2018, the exports of goods increased by 7% and imports by 11% compared to August 2017. The growth in trade in August was affected the most by an increase in trade in mineral products, including fuel additives and motor spirits, and raw materials and products of the chemical industry, including fertilizers. In August 2018, exports from Estonia amounted to €1.2 billion an...
Politics
Reform leader Kaja Kallas is buoyant about the party winning both the general election in March 2019, and the European election in May. Speaking on ''Otse Uudistemajast'' (''Live from the News Building'') on Wednesday, and continuing prominent member Kristen Michal's combative stance on Tuesday, Ms. Kallas said that another four years in opposition wasn't worth thinking about, since the party was going to win both elections in any case. Reform is currently...
Society
Eesti Energia renewables subsidiary Enefit Green is building 7 MW capacity of solar power plants across Estonia over the next year, the company has announced, investing €5 million on solar energy development in the process. Enefit Green CEO Aavo Kärmas has stated the company's goal of increasing renewable energy output. "Solar energy has rapidly expanded in recent years and has become more competitive,'' said Mr. Kärmas, in a press release. ''Currently the...
Business
The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) and the Estonian Banking Association have reached an agreement according to which data queries on official wage information reported to the MTA by individuals will be automated and this information taken into account when issuing loans. In the future, loan applicants can submit information regarding their reported wages directly from online banking as they fill out their loan application. According to MTA Director G...
Society
Rating agency Fitch upgraded Estonia's long-term foreign and local-currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) to AA- from A+ on Friday, adding that they expect it to remain stable at this point. As the key rating drivers behind the upgrade Fitch named Estonia's current account surplus and "continued external deleveraging in the private sector, both of which have strengthened Estonia's external position, underpinning a strong net external creditor position equi...
Society
Pro Patria has secured one million euros of the so-called protection money parties get to distribute to regional projects every year for a foundation yet to be founded – the Estonian Family Foundation. Support for the foundation is the biggest single instrument Pro Patria funds using its €5.45 million share in next year’s €25.7 million protection money budget. “Let us look inside our family: what is the matter? Why are we not having enough children? Why ar...
Incidents
Twelve percent of guests of dance music festival Weekend questioned by the Estonian Institute for Health Development (TAI) used drugs during this year’s festival. The youngest was just 12 years of age. Authors of the study admit its sample was not representative. “Organizers say the festival saw at least 30,000 visitors. We questioned roughly 500 people, and most of the people who came to us had not taken drugs,” said Alyona Kurbatova from TAI’s drug addic...
Society
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise finds that planned changes to the Assistant Police Officer Act could lead to serious violation of fundamental rights. Draft legislation that has passed its first reading in the Riigikogu aims to amend the law to allow more flexible use of assistant officers in policework. Changes would allow assistant officers to pull over vehicles and give them other powers that currently only police officers have. Volunteers could prohib...
Business
Inflation in Estonia will decelerate to 3% next year as a result of the halting of price increases in energy, Swedbank senior analyst Liis Elmik said, commenting on September inflation data. The biggest contribution to the 3.7% increase in the price of the consumer basket was made by energy. The prices of electricity, fuel and motor fuel alike moved higher. The price rise in food accelerated to almost 4% in September mainly as a result of vegetables becomi...
Society
According to Statistics Estonia, in August 2018 the production of industrial enterprises increased by 6% compared to August 2017. Production increased in manufacturing and energy, but decreased in mining. In August the total production in manufacturing was 5% higher compared to the corresponding month of 2017. Over a half of the branches of industry exceeded the volume of the same month of the previous year. The growth in production was mostly due to an in...
Society
A Finnish court on Tuesday took into custody an Estonian citizen connected with the company Airiston Helmi who is suspected of money-laundering and tax fraud. Boriss, an Estoniancitizen born in 1967, denied the accusations against him. He was on the management board of the company and his term of office ended in 2016, the Finnish public broadcaster Yle said. "My client's stance regarding these accusations is that he denies his involvement in any kind of cr...
Society
The Estonian Employers' Confederation and the Estonian Trade Union Confederation have come to an agreement regarding next year's minimum wage, which will increase by €40 to €540 a month and to €3.2 an hour starting 1 January. The negotiations on the minimum wage between the two organisations started in June this year. The agreement to raise the monthly minimum pay by €40 and the hourly minimum by 20 cents was reached at the end of the summer, the Baltic Ne...
Society
Owners of transport and logistics company Via3L Spedition that lost all of its assets and employees over a single weekend have sued its former employees for €6.5 million. Let us go back in time. Major owners of Via3L Spedition were treated to a shock in early July when they discovered they had lost their trucks, computers, clients, know-how and almost all of their employees in a matter of just a few days. Owners, led by Meelis Saaresalu, accused former exe...
Society
The state will start issuing residents new ID-cards that sport a new design and security elements and come with contactless technology from the start of next year at the latest. Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Chief Expert Eliisa Sau said it has taken 18 months to prepare the new digital documents. Enterprise Estonia (EAS) was consulted for the new cards’ design the flipside of which portrays a glacial boulder and the Viru bog. “The biggest change is h...
Society
Tallinn Airport, that saw Pope Francis and his delegation off to Rome yesterday evening, proved that out of the three Baltic capitals, Tallinn is the most courteous but also the most disciplined as people who had been accompanying the pope for the past four days where randomly checked for explosives. Experienced vaticanistas were surprised but decided to make light of the situation. Because they seemed to like it in sunlit Tallinn where the pope’s journey...
Politics
Political movement Estonia 200 finds that the state could borrow to hike the salaries of teachers, professors and research fellows. Its long-term goal is to double research and development funding inside the next five years and raise salaries to ensure healthy competition in the sector. The reform plan suggests Estonia should also borrow to finance road construction: one of the soon-to-be-registered party’s goals is to have “zero head-on collisions on majo...
Society
Even though unemployment is at a ten year low in Estonia, the government wants to support the creation of 400 jobs in peripheral regions. Job support will be made available to companies in East Viru County, Valga County, Võru County and Põlva County starting January next year. The state will pay half of workers’ salary if companies in these regions hire at least five people. Taavi Rõivas’ government first introduced the program in East Viru County in late...
Society
The Reform Party remains the most popular political force in Estonia despite having lost significant ground to the Center Party, results of a survey commissioned by BNS and Postimees and carried out by pollster Kantar Emor in mid-September show. Support for the Reform Party dropped from 29.8 percent to 26.7 percent among citizens who had a political preference while ratings for Center Party rose from 23.8 percent in August to 24.6 percent in September. Thi...
Society
The acquisition of the majority holding of Luminor by the world’s largest private capital firm Blackstone is the culmination of a series of major transactions that have seen Scandinavian investments replaced by money from the world beyond – Germany, London, China and USA. “The spectrum of where investors come from has widened considerably,” said Toomas Prangli, leading partner at the Estonian office of law firm Sorainen. “One reason could be that those Sca...
Society
The Harju County Court has found guilty a 32-year-old man who collected information for the Russian military intelligence service GRU, the Estonian Internal Security Service(KAPO) detained the man on July 1.KAPO detained the 32-year-old Jevgeni Slavin on July 1. TheHarju County Court in a compromise procedure on September 10 punished Slavin for conspiring against the state of Estonia with a jail sentence of one year and eight months, with the time spent in...
Society
A report by a Danish law firm concerning large scale breach of anti-money laundering regulations in the Estonian branch of Danske Bank turned out to be a safe median section where the blame is laid on 42 former employees from Estonia, while the bank’s headquarters in Copenhagen is heavily criticized for serious monitoring oversight. Law firm Bruun & Hjejle claims in its report that legal responsibility for violating anti-money laundering rules lies with 42...
Society
Tallinn University of Technology (TTÜ), which is celebrating its centennial this year, has announced that it will be adopting TalTech as its official domestic as well as international abbreviation. TalTech has submitted an application to the Patent Office for the registration of the TalTech trademark, reported online portal Geenius. TalTech is to be used both domestically and internationally, replacing various other abbreviations including TTÜ, TUT and TTU...
Society
A second-tier court in Estonia has deemed unconstitutional the portion of the Aliens Act which does not provide a legal basis for the issuance of a fixed-term Estonian residence permit to the partner of an Estonian citizen in a registered same-sex partnership. The circuit court found that in the procedure for the issuance of a fixed-term residence permit, the plaintiffs and their partners were groundlessly subject to worse treatment than heterosexual indiv...
Society
In its newly released manifesto, the Estonian Employers' Confederation (ETK) emphasised the importance of a simple tax system and added that tax increases must be stopped. Recent years' constant tax amendments have caused confusion and mistrust toward the state among all taxpayers, the manifesto stated. This has destroyed morale and had a negative impact on all of the state's tax receipts. Experimenting with taxes must be stopped. At that, the ETK found th...
Society
It was clear by yesterday that the World Cleanup Day, held on Saturday and run by a team of Estonians, was the greatest single cleanup action in the history of the planet that saw the participation of 144 countries. Hurricanes ravaging several continents forced 11 countries to postpone the action. Just 12 hours after the World Cleanup Day ended, its organizers reported that at least 13 million people took part. The figure is preliminary and is subject to g...
Society
CEO of Luminor Group Erkki Raasuke says that prospective buyers approached Luminor immediately after the bank’s creation almost a year ago. Half of energy and attention was paid to topics like know your client, money laundering and sanctions. - What does it mean for Luminor that the world’s largest private capital fund will be acquiring its controlling holding? Let’s take half a step back first. First contact and meetings took pale immediately after our me...
Society
The public thought he would spend five years in Tartu Prison, while he was out in just 11 months. Russian citizen, jiu-jitsu coach Mikhail Petrov (44), who spent a long time spying for Russia in Estonia, has not been deported but is traveling the Schengen area with his family using an Estonian residence permit. What is one of the strangest spy games of recent years started unfurling with the publication of the Estonian Internal Security Service’s (EISS) ye...