Estonian Review: August 2-8, 2006
Embassy in the Netherlands Started Working On New Premises
2 - The Estonian embassy in the Netherlands began work in new
premises where also consular services are provided.
embassy is located in a four-storied house in the centre of the
Hague. Purchase of new premises and its refurbishment for the needs
of the embassy cost 30 million kroons (EUR 1.9 mln).
new address of the embassy is 92, Zeestraat, the Hague. The telephone
and fax numbers remained unchanged.
Latvian Interior Ministers Discussed Cross-border Police Cooperation
3 - Estonian Interior Minister Kalle Laanet met in Valka, Latvia,
with his Latvian colleague Dzintars Jaundzeikars and discussed the
possibilities of increasing the efficiency of cross-border police
cooperation to compensate for dangers that could arise on EU interior
borders after border controls are discontinued on borders within the
the main issue of the meeting the ministers discussed organization of
information exchange between Estonian and Latvian law enforcement
bodies to step up cooperation to fight cross-border crime.
the current state of the preparations to accession to the Schengen
legal space and discuss readiness to the assessment were discussed.
In September Estonia will face assessment of the land border, police
cooperation and data protection.
National Kidnapped In Russia's Dagestan
7 - The Estonian Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the Russian
counterpart ministry in connection with the kidnapping of a
19-year-old woman, a citizen of Estonia, in the Caucasian republic of
Russian Foreign Ministry promised to immediately make an official
inquiry to the relevant authorities of Dagestan. The Russian ministry
also said it would appoint a contact who will inform Estonia about
all the latest developments.
chairman of the Dagestani cultural society in Estonia, Apandi
Mahmudov, turned to the Estonian Foreign Ministry for help after her
19-year-old daughter was kidnapped while in Dagestan during her
for the interior ministry of Dagestan have confirmed the fact of
kidnapping which took place on Aug. 3 as four men forced their way
into the flat where Mahmudova was staying and took her away in a car.
Authorities in Dagestan believe that the young woman was kidnapped to
be married of.
Children under Scrutiny by Russian Authorities in Mari El Camp
8 - Authorities in Russia kept a watchful eye on a group of Estonian
children who visited the Republic of Mari El to meet with their peers
from the Finno-Ugric peoples living in Russia and even took their
fingerprints, without having any valid grounds.
Prozes, Head of the Finno-Ugric Center, said that if overall the 15th
Finno-Ugric Youth Camp in the Volzsk region of the republic of Mari
El was organized well, the authorities also kept a close eye on the
activities of the Estonian delegation.
the Estonians almost fully lacked opportunities to communicate with
locals on their own. Also, fingerprints were taken from the Estonians
by local police referring to non-existing European laws.
13 to 17-year-old Estonians from various parts of the country
attended the Jalchik camp together with adult supervisors. The camp
was open between July 28 and Aug. 7.
drew parallels between the attitude of the Russian authorities toward
the young people attending this year's camp and what happened to
young Estonians in the same republic last summer, when 17 Estonian
art students arriving in Mari El from the neighbouring Chuvash
Republic were shortly expelled by local police.
views with suspicion the assistance given by the Finno-Ugric nations
of Estonia, Finland and Hungary to the Finno-Ugric peoples living in
various parts of Russia to uphold their identities and has especially
in recent years cracked down on the national movement of Mari El.
NATO Officer Visited Estonia
4 - Maj. Gen. Frank H. J. Hye, NATO Supreme Allied Commander
Transformation's Representative in Europe, visited Estonia at the
invitation of commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Vice Adm.
Gen, Hye met with Vice Adm. Kõuts. During the meeting officers
of the general staff gave the general an overview of the plans of
development of the Estonian Defence Forces and Estonia's
participation in operations abroad.
also informed Gen. Hye of the technical means, weapons and equipment
used at operations abroad.
Hye held a lecture on the transformation of NATO at the Baltic
Defence College in Tartu.
Commander of Intl Forces in Iraq Met with ESTPLA-13
2 - Brig. Gen. Pier Paolo Lunelli, Deputy Chief of the Multinational
Forces in Iraq, visited the Estonian infantry platoon ESTPLA-13.
aim of the general's visit was to get an overview of the duties and
weaponry of the Estonian unit and meet with Estonian soldiers.
Gen. Lunelli said that in the Iraqi conflict where the opposite side
resorted to wide use of improvised explosive devices, the soldiers'
training plays an important role, and underlined that the Estonians'
training and action was fully comparable to that of western
countries' soldiers. He said different countries' participation gave
the necessary legitimacy to the operation. "At the same time
participation in a real conflict gives the soldiers the opportunity
to test their own training, to deepen their skills and experience and
put themselves to test in a real conflict," Brig. Gen Lunelli
the meeting at the Taji military base, Lt. Meelis Jõemaa,
commander of the Estonian infantry platoon, gave Brig. Gen. Lunelli
an overview of the duties and sphere of responsibility of the unit.
Commanders of the Estonian infantry platoon and Estonian staff
officers serving in Iraq also took part in the meeting.
Minister Would Like Observer in Lebanon to Continue
2 - Estonian Defence Minister Jürgen Ligi said he supported the
continued presence of the Estonian observer in Lebanon.
said after a discussion of the situation in Lebanon and the future of
Estonian observers and the mission of the Estonian representatives
should be continue at least until the United Nations found it was
expedient to keep its observers in Lebanon. "The military
situation has changed but the presence of Estonian representatives is
necessary for the local people and for Estonia in foreign policy
terms," he added, referring to other countries' conduct.
Madis Morel and Maj. Ove Voore are on a one-year mission in the
Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations. Morel serves in
southern Lebanon and Voore in Syria.
Kuusalu Training Ground Service Center to Cost EUR 4.2 Mln
4 - A 65 million kroon (EUR 4.2 mln) service center at the Estonian
Defence Forces Kuusalu training ground will be completed by next
of the Defence Ministry and the Skanska EMV contractor signed a
contract for the building of a service centre in the defence forces'
central Kuusalu training ground.
complex comprising a staff building, a field mess hall, workshop,
well house and boiler house complete with the necessary
infrastructure and installations must be completed by the end of next
Minister Jürgen Ligi said that construction of the service
centre in the central training ground is the first step in the
development of the site, which is of great importance for the defence
forces. Development of the Kukepalu shooting ground will be tackled
next in the framework of the same project.
Seven in Ten Residents Support Estonia's EU Membership
4 - Seven in ten Estonian residents are in favour of Estonia being a
member of the European Union (EU), the percentage of supporters being
higher among non-Estonian speakers, a recent poll revealed.
percent of the Estonian population aged from 15 to 74 are in favour
of Estonia being a member of the EU, with equally high support in all
age groups, the State Chancellery reported.
the third month running the percentage of support is higher among
non-Estonian speakers than ethnic Estonians.
about two thirds of ethnic Estonians are in favour of the country's
EU membership, then among non-Estonians the percentage is above three
of the euro is supported by 41 percent of the residents with 49
percent against and 10 percent undecided. Concerning postponement of
the switch to the euro, 23 percent find that it would be good if it
wasn't ever adopted in Estonia, while the attitude of 14 percent is
neutral as Estonia's economic stability is already guaranteed by the
kroon being tied to the euro.
than ten percent of the population find that postponement of the
transition to the euro is bad for various reasons.
poll showed that the best known of all EU information services and
sources is the European Union's information portal, www.europa.eu,
which 26 percent of the population had heard of and which 19 percent
of those that had heard of at least one information service had used.
free EU information telephone, which 21 percent had heard of and 3
percent had used, and Euroveeb, known by 18 percent and used by 9
percent followed the two front-runners.
Govt Wants To Open Freedom Monument on 90th Anniversary of the
4 - The Estonian Government has set the aim of opening the monument
to victory in the War of Independence at Vabaduse Square in Tallinn
on the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, February 24,2008.
Minister Andrus Ansip told reporters that the 90th anniversary of the
republic would be a suitable date to open the victory monument.
government allocated 815,000 kroons (EUR 52,000) from its reserve to
the Defence Ministry for the organization of a competition for the
to the government's idea the monument should perpetuate the Estonian
victory in the War of Independence of 1918-1920 and symbolize the
idea of freedom in a wider sense.
State Must Control Erection of Monuments
3 - Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said it was logical if the
erection of monuments was under the control of the central government
told reporters at the government's press conference that the present
situation where the erection of monuments was in local governments'
competence was not normal as a local government could put up anything
Justice Ministry is preparing a new law giving the state the right to
interfere into the erection and removal of monuments. Ansip said that
the Justice Ministry had started to work out the bill at his orders.
Rates in Kroons
EconMin, Finland's Trade Minister Spoke about Energy Security
7 - Estonian Minister of Economy and Communications Edgar Savisaar
and the Finnish minister of trade and industry, Mauri Pekkarinen,
during their meeting spoke about cooperation between the two
countries in energy, matters related to the Estlink cable and
security of gas supply for Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
Vitsur, adviser to the Estonian minister, said interest toward
matters of energy security was very high on both sides of the Gulf of
Finland. "The issue of energy is the key issue in today's world,
both in terms of economy as well as relations between different
countries," he said.
ministers more specifically dwelt on the topic of a gas pipeline
between Estonia and Finland and the possibility of linking it with
the Russia-Germany gas pipeline.
discussed was unification of the electricity markets, which will
materialize when the Estlink undersea cable is completed. The cable
is due operational by the end of November.
Officials: Inflation to Remain at Higher Than 4 Pct
7 - According to analysts of the Estonian Finance Ministry and the
Bank of Estonia the year-on-year inflation would remain at higher
than four percent for the time being.
new cycle in the rise of oil prices started on the world market at
the beginning of July and it will also be reflected in our consumer
price index. The prices of vegetables continued to grow, too, as did
expenses connected with housing," said Andres Saarniit, adviser
of the Bank of Estonia central bank policy.
said that as no fall in oil prices was anywhere in sight and the dry
summer was unfavourable to farmers, there was little likelihood that
the pace of inflation would fall under 4 percent in the near future.
in the euro zone the growth in consumer prices has been higher than
recommended, or around 2.5 percent. The aim of the European central
bank is to keep the eurozone inflation at a level slightly under two
on the consumer price index for July, the Finance Ministry said that
price pressures accompanying strong domestic demand and higher energy
prices have not made it possible for the inflation to slow down very
average rise in the consumer prices by more than four percent could
be expected also in the second half of the year. It is largely due to
administrative price rises connected with housing this fall.
certain slow-down in the growth of the Estonian average year-on-year
price index could only be expected at the beginning of next year.
July the Estonian consumer price index grew by 4.5 percent on year
and by 0.5 percent on month.
Environmental Projects to Get Support from EU Structural Funds
4 - Twenty-two environmental projects in Estonia have been approved
for support from the European Regional Development Fund in the amount
of 37 million kroons (EUR 2.36 mln) in the last round of selection
for the 2004-06 financing period.
asked for over 133 million kroons in support, which exceeded the
amount of funds to be distributed more than four times. European
assistance will however be supplemented by domestic co financing in
the amount of 7.1 million kroons.
the decision the environment minister the most applications were
satisfied in the field of waste handling. The eight approved projects
will get 11.7 million kroons of European support.
energy is the area that is to get the biggest assistance, with 14.9
million kroons to be distributed among four projects. Of the total
amount, almost eight million kroons will come from the ERDF and seven
million, from domestic resources.
biological and landscape diversity projects were granted 6.7 million
kroons in all. In the field of water use and protection, the minister
approved six projects worth 10.8 million kroons.
for environmental infrastructure development were granted a total of
150 million kroons in 2004-06. The next structural funds financing
period runs from 2007 till 2013.
Consumer Price Index Up 4.5 Pct on Year in July
7 - The prices of goods and services were an average of 4.5 percent
higher this July than in July 2005, the Statistical Office reported.
hike in administratively regulated prices of goods and services was
by 5.7 percent and in non-regulated prices by 4.1 percent.
with June the consumer prices were 0.5 percent higher in July.
July compared with June the consumer price index was affected the
most by a rise in the price of motor fuel, housing, vegetables as
well as discounts in clothing and footwear.
prices of grocery items went up by 1.1 percent against June in July
and those of manufactured goods by 0.1 percent, leading to an average
rise in the price of services by 0.5 percent.
rise in the price of services against July was by 0.6 percent. The
cost of transport increased by 1.0 percent, housing costs by 0.9
percent and medical services by 0.6 percent.
year expenses on housing increased by 9.9 percent, on transport by
5.9 percent, on food by 4.6 percent and on leisure time activities by
Council Confirms Liive Board Chairman Of Power Utility
8 - Supervisory council of the Estonian Eesti Energia (Estonian
Energy) power utility, meeting on the issue of election of the board
chairman, confirmed Sandor Liive as board chairman for the next three
supervisory council heard four candidates' visions of the Eesti
supervisory council did not disclose the names of the candidates,
besides that of Liive. The energy company must be guided on
principles of conservatism and Liive's advantage was his earlier work
in the company leadership and as CEO.
of Estonia Assets up By 43.6 Mln In July
7 - The Bank of Estonia total assets increased by 682.5 million
kroons (EUR 43.6 mln) or 2.5 percent in July, making up 28.4 billion
kroons by the end of the month.
Bank of Estonia gold and net foreign currency reserves stood at 26.7
billion kroons as of the end of July, after increasing by 734.8
million kroons or 1.8 percent during the month.
Bank of Estonia unencumbered reserve grew by 59.2 million kroons or
1.7 percent in July, amounting to 3.6 billion kroons.
demand for base money increased in July by 680 billion kroons or 3
percent. The sum total of base money by the end of July was 23.1
billion kroons, including 12.2 billion kroons account money and 10.9
billion kroons cash.
kroons to the tune of 5.8 billion kroons were bought from the Bank of
Estonia during July, and 5.1 billion Estonian kroons were sold to the
Bank of Estonia against foreign currency.
sum total of the Central Bank capital, reserves, retained profit and
total profit increased in July by 25.8 million kroons, amounting to
3.9 billion kroons.
Energy Swells Net Profit 15 Times
3 - Estonia's state-owned national power company Eesti Energia
(Estonian Energy) posted sales of 1.621 billion kroons (EUR 103.58
mln) and a net profit of 532 million kroons for the first three
months of its new business year that started in April.
Energia invested in the first three months of the 2006-07 financial
year 537 million kroons in the renovation of production units and
national grid continued the development of the strategically
important Narva-Tallinn network and the construction of the Estlink
underwater cable connecting Estonia and Finland.
firm intends to invest more than 2.5 billion kroons during the
2006-07 financial year.
Energy Plans To Multiply Shale Oil Output
3 - The strategic aim of Eesti Energia (Estonian Energy) is to raise
the annual production of shale oil by 2010 to 500,000 tons from the
present 130,000 tons, the state-owned power supplier says in its
interim report for the first three months of the current financial
Energia possesses unique know-how in the field of large-scale mining
and processing of oil shale to produce electricity and oil. Given the
present-day relatively high crude prices, technological developments
and political realities of the Middle East, adding value to oil shale
through oil production is becoming more and more important beside
electric and thermal power production," the company says.
Energia sold 26,000 tons of shale oil in the first three months of
the 2006-07 financial year, earning 106 million kroons (EUR 6.77
mln). Operating profit from this branch of activity reached almost 75
Could Hold Four Large Combined Heat and Power Plants - Eesti Energia
3 - Estonia has potential for generating around 750 gigawatt-hours of
electricity annually in combined heat and power plants fired by
renewable energy and waste.
is potential in Estonia for four large cogeneration plants with an
electrical capacity of 20 megawatts and annual heat production of 600
GWh, the head of the renewable energy arm of the national power
supplier Eesti Energia (Estonian Energy). In addition, about a dozen
medium-capacity plants with an electrical capacity of 3 MW and 90 GWh
thermal power capacity could be built in this country, to which
single smaller plants at the largest sawmills could be added.
plants' aggregate capacity could be around 100 MW and annual
electricity generation, about 750 GWh. The necessary precondition for
building a cogeneration plant is the existence of heat consumers,
distant heating network and electricity network, plus the producer's
good cooperation with both the local self-government and the operator
of the distant heating network.
of electricity and heat allows to use fuel in a more effective and
environment-friendly way, keep the cost price of both heat and
electric power lower, and offer an extra capacity for peak
Banks' Internet Clients Total 1,28 Mln At End July
7 - Estonian commercial banks had 1,282,632 Internet banking clients
as of the end of July and 211,607 telephone bank clients.
Internet bank, Hanza.net, had 683,746 users as of the end of July,
2,956 more than at the end of June. Contracts signed for Hansapank's
telephone bank operator service numbered 26,393 at the end of July,
376 more than a month earlier.
Eesti Uhispank has 403,754 U-Net users and 31,388 U-Net Business
users as the end of July. The number of Uhispank's telephone bank
clients was 6,372 in July and of the mobile bank clients 48,080.
Bank acquired 460 users of its Solo Internet service in July. In all
the bank has 25,988 Internet banking clients. All Nordea Bank's
Internet clients can automatically also use its telephone service.
Bank had 121,327 internet bank users, 2,203 more than in June as of
the end of July. The number of Sampo Bank's telephone bank users
increased by 2,148 during the month, bringing the total number of its
telephone bank users to 104,774.
had 15,314 valid Internet bank contracts as of the end of July,.
During the month the number of Internet bank users increased by 191.
Bank had 1,115 Internet bank contracts as of the end of the previous
and Parex Bank do not provide telephone bank services to their
Banks Plan to Review Deposit Interest Rates
4 - Due to the European Central Bank's decision to raise base
interest rates, the major commercial banks in Estonia plan to review
their rates too. "In view of the European Central Bank's
interest rise, we are about to review our own deposit interest
rates," spokeswoman for Hansapank Kristiina Tamberg said.
Jalakas, departmental head at SEB Eesti Ühispank, said the bank
will in connection with the ECB decision review during next week all
the interest rates on term deposits.
manager for Sampo Pank Anneli Rouk likewise confirmed to BNS plans to
review deposit interest rates. Rates will rise at the beginning of
next week, she said.
Bank reviews its deposit interest rates regularly and changes them in
accordance with base interest changes and the market situation,
marketing specialist Tauno Tohk said. "We don't see an immediate
need to raise interest rates," he added.
Offered Virtual Loans without Contract, Guarantee
7 - A totally new loan service has arrived on the Estonian market --
virtual loans without guarantee via SMS or the Internet, with no need
to visit a bank or lending office or sign a loan contract.
least two companies, Ferratum Estonia and SMS Laen, offer such
opportunities as of August. These are virtual loan offices not
controlled by the financial supervisory authority.
offers loans of 1,000 (EUR 64), 2,000 or 3,000 kroons for 15 or 30
days. The loan is quite expensive for the lender. Taking a loan of
for 15 days, one has to pay 200 kroons and 300 kroons in case of 30
days. This means that the loan interest, which the lender calls the
loan handling fee, is 30 percent a month or 360 percent a year.
for a loan by SMS it is necessary to send to the lending office a
message stating the sum and term of the loan, the lender's name,
personal identification code, address and the bank account number.
lending office will immediately analyze the information with the
applicant having to confirm the wish to take the loan by a return
message. To take a loan via the Internet is even simpler. The notice
of the repayment deadline and the sum to be repaid is sent to the
client by mail.
Estonia board member Jaanus Kart said the company had accumulated a
couple of hundred clients within the first week. The company has
operated since the beginning of last year in Finland. The service
became popular there and therefore it extended also the Estonia and
Sweden. The loan contract is accessible in the Internet but Kart said
under the Law of Obligations Act there is no neeed to sign it. The
lender's signature is the word "sobib" (Accept), which he
sends to the lending office after receiving their reply.
analogous with those of Ferratum Estonia will soon be offered also by
SMS Laen, which is based on Estonian capital.
in Estonian Shipper Tallink Agree To Increase Stock Capital
2 - Shareholders in the Estonian shipping company Tallink Grupp gave
at an extraordinary general meeting today the green light to
expanding the firm's stock capital in order to fulfill the conditions
arising from the acquisition of Silja Oy AB shares.
company is going to issue for this 28.3 million new shares with a
nominal value of 10 kroons apiece, raising the stock capital to 1.698
billion kroons (EUR 108.5 mln).
addition, the shareholders ruled to increase the number of Tallink
Grupp board members to 5-7.
Media Concern Ekspress Grupp Nearly Triples H1 Profit
2 - The Estonian media concern Ekspress Grupp almost tripled its
profit in the first half of this year to 47.6 million kroons (EUR
group's consolidated sales, at 446.4 million kroons, were up by
one-third against the same period last year, the company reported
today. Sales growth came from publishing houses' larger advertising
turnovers, strong sales results of the Printall printing house and
bookshops, and the addition of Ekspress Hotline to the concern.
to Ekspress Grupp, also its Lithuanian operation ended the first half
of the year with a profit. Ekspress Leidyba posted a million-kroon
profit compared to a loss of half a million kroons in the first half
of 2005. Ekspress Leidyba publishes 17 magazines, among them the
monthly Panele which has the largest readership in Lithuania.
Grupp is the owner of the weekly Eesti Ekspress, printing house
Printall, Lithuanian magazines group Ekspress Leidyba, and Rahva
Raamat bookstores. The concern also has 50 percent stakes in Ekspress
Hotline, Eesti Paevaleht, SL Ohtuleht, Ajakirjade Kirjastus and
Grupp belongs to Hans H. Luik.
Furniture Maker Standard Wins Finnish Hotel Furnishing Tender
3 - The Estonian manufacturer of hotel and office furniture Standard
has won a tender for furnishing 214 rooms of a new hotel in northern
Finland, the Scandic Hotel Oulu.
Standard the hotel which is to be completed by the end of the year
represents the largest one-off export project. Last year the firm
supplied furniture for 1,300 hotel rooms abroad.
accounted for 30 percent of Standard's sales of 180.7 million kroons
(EUR 11.55 mln) in 2005. The firm ended the year with a profit of
10.5 million kroons.
principal markets beside the other Baltic countries and Scandinavia
were Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
on Estonian capital, Standard is among the largest producers of
office and hotel furniture in the Baltic states. The firm has a
nationwide sales network and factory outlets in Tallinn and Riga, as
well as distributors in Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Norway, Germany
Air's H1 Passenger Numbers Up 13 Pct on Year
4 - Estonia's national airline Estonian Air carried in the first half
of this year 331,830 passengers, an increase of 13 percent against
the same period last year.
average load factor climbed by 2 percentage points to 59 percent, the
have seen growth on almost every route and have been very successful
with our Brussels, London and Scandinavian flights," Estonian
Air Vice President Mart Relve said. "We have even managed to
steal a bit of market
from our competitors."
Air served 642,700 passengers on its flights last year, a
year-on-year growth of 18 percent.
Ships Visiting Port of Tallinn Total 187
7 - A total of 187 traditional cruise ships have visited Tallinna
Sadam (Port of Tallinn) this season and there should be 93 further
calls during the rest of the remaining season.
addition to the traditional cruise ships 10 cruise ships of the
neighbouring countries of Finland and Sweden will also call at
year the port received 273 traditional cruise ships and 51 short
cruise ships from Sweden and Finland.
ships should make nine calls at the Saaremaa Port this season.
the next season cruise operators have so far booked 245 visits to
Tallinn, to which 30-40 calls should be added according to Tallinna
Sadam. The first bookings have already been made also for 2008.
Port of Tallinn expects to receive a total of 304,000 cruise
passengers this year, which will be the all-time best result. Last
year the same figure was higher than 205,000.
year there have been 196,359 traditional cruise passengers and 9,951
short cruise passengers so far, bringing the total number of cruise
passengers to 206,310.
Route Has Record Number Of Passengers In July
7 - A record number of passengers travelled on the Saaremaa-Ventspils
shipping route in July --in all 5,990 passengers and 1,350 vehicles
were carried on the route in July.
ferry Scania plying between the Estonian island of Saaremaa and
Ventspils, Latvia, takes on up to 300 passengers and 60 cars. The
ship covers the distance of 63 kilometers in approximately four