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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...
Society
It was announced yesterday that the world’s largest private capital firm Blackstone will acquire the majority of Luminor Group that will mark the biggest transaction in the Baltic countries for the past decade and could possibly be the greatest ever acquisition in the region. Blackstone will pay more than a billion euros for 60 percent of Luminor. «It is a deal to rival the takeover of Hansapank,»said Sven Papp, partner at Blackstone’s counsel Ellex Raidla...
Society
The first ever World Cleanup Day, whose roots lie in the Estonian civic movement Let's Do It!, was held on Saturday, 15 September, with an estimated 13 million people across some 150 countries worldwide pitching in to clean up their local areas. Cleanups were postponed in some parts of the world due to inclement weather and other concerns, however, which means that various WCD figures are not yet final. According to a press release by World Cleanup Day Hea...
Society
County bus lines in the majority of Estonian counties have been offering free transport since the beginning of July, and last month already saw an increase of 10,000 more rides per day on free routes than in August of 2017. ETV news broadcast "Aktuaalne kaamera: Nädal" investigated what, if any, weaknesses are plaguing the new system. On the whole, residents of Viljandi County are satisfied with the free public transport. Ridership has increased more than...
Society
Former chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia Jaan Männik has decided against running in the 2019 Riigikogu elections as a member of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE). "My kids said that they constantly have to hear talk of, 'Your father is a racist!' and answering questions like, 'Is your father a racist?'" Männik told weekly Eesti Ekspress. "One could say I misjudged EKRE's reputation among young people," he said, explai...
Society
Sculptor Mati Karmin was treated to an unpleasant surprise a few days ago when he discovered photos taken in an urban neighborhood of St. Petersburg in his mailbox. A copy of one of Karmin’s sculptures «Kissing Students»has been erected in the town without his consent or that of the city of Tartu. Karmin received a polite letter from Russian construction company Otdelstroy last November. Nadya Emelayanova from the company’s marketing department informed Ka...
Society
Estonian MEP Urmas Paet (Reform/ALDE) has submitted an urgent resolution proposal in the European Parliament that demands the authorities of Myanmar release Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters reporters currently imprisoned in Myanmar. The journalists were arrested on 12 December 2017 for covering the crimes of the Myanmar Army against the Rohingya minority, Paet told BNS on Tuesday. "The arrest and seven-year imprisonment of the Reuters reporters is beyo...
Society
The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) told a representative of Gemalto AG yesterday that it is pulling out of talks to find a compromise for compensation for damages tied to the ID-card crisis and will file a claim over breach of contract against the company in the coming weeks. «The PPA has lost confidence in Gemalto as the corporation has failed to demonstrate willingness to cooperate or genuine interest to reach a compromise. The PPA has collected eno...
Society
Treason of General Staff of the Defense Forces planning officer Deniss Metsavas (38), who, together with his father, leaked classified documents to GRU for years, could spell months of reorganization in a highly sensitive field for the armed forces. According to the prosecution, Major Deniss Metsavas and his father Piotr Volin worked in tandem until they were arrested on September 3. Only Metsavas had access to state secrets and classified foreign informat...
Society
It is likely that the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) will have to swallow its words and write off a large part of its €20-million claim against ID-card manufacturer Gemalto in the coming weeks. «Hi, P. I met R. today, and he told me you have a very interesting new topic. Could we meet, and are you willing to give me more information? Best wishes, S.» This is part of a high-ranking state official’s letter to an entrepreneur who had been manufacturing I...
Society
Economists and analysts questioned by Postimees find that while favoring immigration and labor migration would help alleviate acute labor shortage, the solution is not without problems in the long run. The president's economic adviser Heido Vitsur says that labor market problems can be seen from two angles. «One is that of entrepreneurs who want to keep doing what they’ve been doing. The other is likely that of most people who do not want to see any major...
Society
Due to ongoing roadworks on Gonsiori Street in central Tallinn, the junction joining it and Kreutzwaldi Street closed to road traffic on Tuesday morning. The work is set to continue until at least 25 October. There are three larger schools and a few kindergartens in the vicinity, so the closure is likely to cause a certain amount of disruption now that term time has started, although the work was deliberately held off till just after the official start of...
Society
Marko Mihkelson, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Estonian parliament (Riigikogu) has told ERR that he will be joining the Reform Party and will stand at the general election in March. Mr. Mihkelson, 48, had been one of three independent MPs up until the announcement. He was previously a member of Isamaa/Pro Patria (then called IRL), first being elected to parliament in 2003. He also ran for the European Parliament in 2004. ''I've decided to j...
Society
Kelly Sildaru, 16 year old Estonian freestyle skier, has clinched another gold medal at the world championships in New Zealand, her second in the competition and fourth throughout her career. Sildaru, competing at the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Cardrona, near Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand, had already won a gold in the slopestyle event, plus a silver in the 'big air' event. This time it was the halfpipe th...
Society
Even though this summer has been drier, hotter and sunnier than summers in Estonia on average, no records were broken this year, the National Weather Service said. The average air temperature this summer was 17.8° Celsius, which is 1.8° above the long-term average, which is 16°. Though this is very warm, there have been other years with similar temperatures, eg. 1972. Though there was less precipitation and more sunshine than average, the summer of 2018 di...
Society
To register as a political party, the Estonia 200 group, currently a non-profit in the commercial register, need at least 500 members. Asked by ERR on Tuesday how many they already managed to gain, the group's leaders said that they won't comment before membership reaches critical mass. Estonia 200 announced their intention to become a political party in late August. Should they succeed, they stand a chance to score a few mandates in the Riigikogu election...
Society
Polish Naval ship the ORP Kontradmirał Xawery Czernicki has been anchored in Tallinn harbour since 29 August, and has hosted a reception marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Polish Navy, which the service is celebrating this year. "The route taken for the Polish naval anniversary is largely based on history, and in this respect the capital of Estonia is one of the most important places for us,'' said Polish Ambassador to Estonia Mr. Grzeg...
Politics
Former Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Agricultural Committee Urmas Kruuse (Reform) has put a question to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas concerning governmental assistance to farmers for dealing with the effects of the long period of drought this summer. Reiterating comments he had made a little over two weeks ago, Mr. Kruuse said that farmers were dismayed that whilst information had been made public suggesting that the state was...
Society
According to Statistics Estonia, the total domestic and international production of Estonian construction enterprises increased by 20% in the second quarter of 2018. Taking into account only the Estonian construction market, construction volume increased by 22%. The production value of construction enterprises amounted to €767 million, of which the production value of building construction amounted to €512 million and the production value of civil engineer...
Society
LHV Pank (Bank) has announced that it is to start accepting applications for state-guaranteed study loans, becoming in the process the fourth bank so far in Estonia to provide this type of loan. Under the student loan scheme, regardless of the bank being used, students can borrow up to €2,000 per person for the academic year, which is reportedly an increase of €80 on the last year. Student loans carry a fixed rate of interest of 5 percent per annum, and an...
Society
A German Air Force (Luftwaffe) unit is due to replace its French Air Force (Armée de l'Air Française) counterpart in NATO air policing duties, based at Ämari air base in northwestern Estonia, from the week commencing 27 August. A ceremony marking the rotation handover is to take place at Ämari on Thursday, spokespersons for the Ministry of Defence have announced. The German contingent is set to made up of four Eurofighter Typhoon jets and replaces the four...
Politics
An utterance by head of the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service Mikk Marran, where he said a network of politicians, journalists, diplomats and businessmen that operate as agents of Russian influence and do what the Kremlin orders has been found, sparked a lot of attention in Estonia at the end of July. Marran agreed to answer Postimees’ questions – including follow-up questions – in writing and explain why he made the statement and why the identities of...
Society
Defence Minister Jüri Luik (Pro Patria) told ERR's "Aktuaalne kaamera" newscast on Sunday that as a small country, Estonia owes an extraordinary debt to US Senator John McCain, who passed away on Saturday. Republican Senator and former presidential candidate, John McCain died on Saturday. McCain suffered from a brain tumour. He was 81 years old. Defence Minister Jüri Luik told ERR in his interview that McCain was a politician with a global reach who decisi...
Society
A third of Estonians believe their financial situation is good or very good while no fewer than 90 percent believe it is at least okay. At the same time, a fifth of people in South Estonia and 16 percent of pensioners believe their situation to be poor, a financial stability study by Kantar Emor shows. The pollster’s business manager Aivar Voog said that younger and wealthier people and those living in Tallinn, North Estonia and around Tartu are more satis...
Society
The Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) have announced their decision to abandon any active search for the missing missile accidentally fired from a NATO Eurofighter Typhoon in Estonian airspace on Tuesday, 7 August, but remain ready to react and continue any new search if and when new information arises. "All the theoretical impact points of the missile have now been carefully searched,'' said Commander of the Estonian Air Force Col. Riivo Valge in an EDF press...
Society
The Estonian Greens have begun working on their election campaign for the 2019 Riigikogu elections next March, and the party's goal is to earn 11 seats in the 101-seat Riigikogu, party chairwoman and Tallinn Deputy Mayor Züleyxa Izmailova said in an interview with ERR. Speaking to ERR's radio news, Izmailova said that the party plans to update its statutes and draw up an election platform, the latter of which she will take responsibility for herself. "The...
Society
At the time of his appointment, chairman of the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK), Ardo Ojasalu was a member of the Social Democratic Party. He left it in September 2017. Now it turns out that an anti-corruption nonprofit organisation run by Ojasalu receives €5,000 a month from the Free Party—and that half of this sum is allocated to Ojasalu's monthly salary. ERR's radio news reported on Friday that Ojasalu's nonprofit, MTÜ Korrupts...
Society
Today Estonian Defence Forces decided to end the active searches for a missing AMRAAM missile accidentally shot from Spanish fighter in Estonian airspace last Tuesday, but will stay ready to react and continue the search if new information arises. “All theoretical ground hitting points of the missile are now carefully searched. During the past two weeks, we employed three helicopters, five ground patrols and fifty men large units for the chain searches on...
Society
The Police and Border Guard are dispatching several hundred officers to this year's Weekend Festival in Pärnu. Several ten thousand visitors are expected to attend the 70 concerts and parties of the festival. According to Andres Sinimeri, in command of Pärnu's police station, local law enforcement is backed up with several hundred officers, cadets and assistant police officers from Estonia as well as colleagues from Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland. Police p...
Society
Estonian state-owned electricity distribution network operatorElektrilevi, the only qualified bidder, was declared winner of the auction for the nationwide Estonian Electromobility Programme (ELMO) network of electric vehicle quick charging infrastructure. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications placed the ELMO network up for auction in June and received offers from two bidders. The other bidder, Luku-Expert OÜ, had actually outbid Elektrilevi...
Society
Tallink City Hotel in Central Tallinn was evacuated on Monday afternoon after a bomb threat was received for the hotel. Police closed Laikmaa Street between Narva Highway and Gonsiori Street to traffic, Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) spokesperson Marie Aava said. A bomb squad and other emergency services responded to the scene. At 14:43 EEST, the spokesperson announced that following a sweep of the building that did not turn up any explosives, the inc...
Society
The economist Raul Eamets said when commenting the steadily high inflation that if the wage rise continues it may increase unemployment. Statistics Estonia reported yesterday that the consumer price index increased 3.5 percent in July over the year. Inflation, which had been low for a longer time, began to rise early last year and price rise reached four percent in June. The economist Raul Eamets said that when wages go up, so do the prices. “It seems that...
Society
Estonia’s most controversial lawman, former Harju County Court judge Leo Kunman, retired exactly one week ago. His 24-year career as a judge is unique, since he was once tried for crime, received three disciplinary reprimands yet stayed in office until the age of 68 - the moment the law no longer allows him to continue. Having experienced criminal investigation of himself and his sons, Kunman now harshly criticizes the prosecutor’s office and the Internal...
Society
According to Enn Rohula, CEO of the Linda Line, which had formerly operated a catamaran fast-link between Tallinn and Helsinki and which filed for bankruptcy earlier in the year, a new, larger catamaran has been chosen for the resumption of the service between the two capitals. However, its acquisition has been hampered by the ongoing bankruptcy process, he says. As reported on ERR, Linda Line Shipping OÜ, the parent company of fast boat operator Lindaliin...
Society
The Estonian Competition Authority on Thursday granted Estonian energy group Alexela Energia permission to acquire electricity seller 220 Energia and its related companies. The transaction is scheduled to enter into force in September. Alexela Oil, a fuel and energy company belonging to Alexela Energia, may purchase 220 Energia OÜ, 220 Energialahendused OÜ and 220 Energija SIA, which operates in Latvia, it appears from the Competition Authority's decision-...
Society
The Ukrainian state-owned railway company Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways) is planning to extend the Kiev-Riga route soon to be opened to Tallinn. Ukrainian Railways is to open a Kiev-Riga route on Sept. 28 and is planning to extend it to Tallinn in the future, head of the company's long-distance routes department Oleksandr Krasnoshtan said, according to Interfax. According to Krasnoshtan, the Estonian side is very interest in extending the route. "Yes,...
Incidents
The air-to-air missile launched by the Spanish Air Force fighter over Pangodi, Tartu County, on Tuesday at 15.44 flew over three counties and covered 80 kilometers before falling into a forest in an uninhabited area at Jõeküla, near the Endla nature reserve in Järva County. The Air Force had not announced the precise flight path of the missile and the site of its impact by yesterday evening, but considering where it was launched and found, the weapon carry...
Society
British financial regulatory body Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued its latest warning against the Estonian-registered company GoldTech Media Service OÜ as an unregulated financial services provider targeting British consumers. "Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorized by us," the FCA said. "However, some firms act without our authorisation and some knowingly r...