The ‘Eiffel tower’ of Hiiumaa-31 meters high, was built by one man in 4 months only! This crazy tower situating in Reigi village, created by local man without architectural or engineering background have to be taken apart by the end of September, as it is considered dangerous both for visitors and for the creator and was built without building permit.
No specific reasons were given, except the usual talk of synergies. We see the move as TeliaSonera’s effort to strengthen its position in the region and eventually expand outside of Scandinavia. Moreover, the reason could be that because of the looming recession made the two companies more affordable, hence better targets for acquisition.
For the record, Eesti Telekom operates Estonia’s only IP-based TV service and also has investments in cable TV services, while Lithuania’s TEO LT has IPTV and DTT interests.
The country's finance ministry has downgraded its gross domestic product (GDP) forecast and now expects a 14.5 per cent drop, rather than the 8.5 per cent contraction it predicted earlier in the year.
News of the move came after figures revealed that GDP fell by 16.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2009 when compared to the same period last year.
The decline puts further pressure on the country's euro plans, as the Maastricht criteria states that a nation's budget deficit cannot be more than three per cent of GDP if it is to join the single currency.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Standard & Poor's has cut Estonia's sovereign rating by one grade to A-.
Marten Ross, deputy governor of Eesti Pank, stated that by joining the euro, the country would become more stable and this should lead to improved rating is future.
Instead of hijacking the Arctic Sea, as investigators allege, the men sought shelter aboard it amid a storm and then were prevented from leaving, lawyer Omar Akhmedov told the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant.
Akhmedov, who is defending two of the men, also reiterated their claims that they were environmental activists rather than pirates.
"On July 24, my client and his friends took an inflatable motor boat from the Estonian port of Pärnu to practise using sea navigation equipment, but they were caught in a storm and asked to board the passing cargo ship," he told Kommersant.
"They could not leave the Arctic Sea because the cargo ship's captain did not notify coast guards of what had happened and refused to land them in any convenient European port, heading instead to the coast of west Africa."
The lawyer added that his clients were passionate environmentalists: "All those arrested had earlier joined forces over their desire to fight for the ecological purity of Baltic Sea."
The eight are charged with seizing the ship and its 15 Russian crewmen in the Baltic Sea on July 24 while posing as police.
Despite arresting the alleged pirates, Russian prosecutors have yet to fully explain the motive for the unprecendented hijacking, fuelling speculation that the Arctic Sea hid more than its stated cargo of timber.
Speculation has swirled that the ship may have held an illicit cargo of arms or even nuclear materials.
Russian officials have said that a preliminary search turned up nothing suspicious when the ship was recaptured near the Cape Verde archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.
But they have vowed a more thorough search when the Arctic Sea reaches the Russian port of Novorossiisk in early September.
Eyebrows were also raised after Russia brought back the suspects -- citizens of Estonia, Latvia and Russia -- in three huge Ilyushin-76 military transport planes, when far smaller aircraft would have sufficed.
The recession has failed to bate Finns’ passion for maritime travel. Companies plying the Finnish-Estonian route in particular have enjoyed strong demand. Part of the explanation for this lies in the decline in the number of competitors offering this connection: last autumn, both SuperSeaCat and Nordic Jet Line ceased to operate between Helsinki and Tallinn.
In July, more than 430,000 passengers travelled between Finland and Estonia, an increase of about one quarter on last year’s numbers. On the Finland-Sweden route, passenger numbers grew by around ten per cent, swelling to just over 420,000.
“Unlike before, people don’t book their trips as much in advance as they used to,” says Anders Gross, the CEO of Linda Line. However, the numbers have remained high, and Linda Line has had 265,000 passengers so far this year. The company has enjoyed a 65 per cent rise in passengers, this owing much to the fact that they doubled their capacity by adding a second catamaran to the Helsinki-Tallinn route.
Viking Line carried more than 195,000 of the travellers between Helsinki and Tallinn during July – an increase of 15,000 on last year. Passenger numbers were also up between Mariehamn and Kappellskär. The Helsinki-Stockholm route managed to attract roughly the same number of passengers as last year, but the Turku-Stockholm leg was somewhat quieter.
The sharpest rise in demand was enjoyed by Eckerö Line on its Helsinki-Tallinn route. During the May-July period, the company carried almost a fifth more passengers than during the same period last year. In managing director David Lindström’s view, Tallinn has established itself as an enduring favourite of Finns, and Estonia’s competitive prices are a further enticement.
The Head of State noted during opening of the expanded production facilities of Cargotec in Narva that it is not correct to consider mediation the main fuel of the economy and a developing economy cannot rely on services alone. He added that services and mediation operations formed too much of Estonia’s economy before the crisis.
“I believe that is clear to all people here that the biggest economic decline after the Second World War – and the first extensive economic crisis in a globalize world – is particularly hard on smaller exports-oriented countries with open economies,” said Ilves. He added that hence it is the obligation of both Finnish and Estonian entrepreneurs to do everything in their power to develop the international competitiveness and to promote global trade.
Pärnu kurortsliv started in 1836, when a group of enterprising people decided to rebuild an old tavern to a bath house, which has already opened a year later. In 1936 they wrote: “To visit sommarpärnu, the city with bright sunshine, salty sea water, refreshing westerly winds, shady parks, excellent beaches, latest health treatments, music and friendly people sweep away signs of tiredness all guest’s faces.”
Although Pärnu with its 45 000 inhabitants, what’s up between the two capitals – Tallinn and Riga – best known as a summer capital, the city fascinates its visitors during all seasons. Parks and boulevards here even invites you to walk, varied restaurants and cafes offer tasty meals and relaxation. Several museums and galleries, artisan workshops and sports facilities, from the riding stables and golf courses to tennis halls and badcentrum awaits visitors.
The center offers psychic heat in the Endla theater as soon fills one hundred years and the new modern concert hall. At Christmas time Pärnu, admired as one of Estonia’s most beautiful and fabulous cities like Santa Claus bringing together from around the world to a joint conference.
Rehabilitation Center is located in Pärnu Estonia historic residential district, with close to beach house, course area, bandstand, beach, boardwalk and beach parks.
TALLINN - Estonia's economy is to drop a worse than expected 14.5 percent this year and further budget cuts will be needed to keep if 2011 euro adoption hopes are to be met, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.
Like Baltic neighbours Lithuania and Latvia, Estonia's economy has gone into a steep decline after several years of credit-fuelled boom. Though Estonia built up a reserve of funds during the good years, it is still having to hack back the budget to keep a cap on the fiscal deficit.
'Compared with spring, despite the economic contraction, you can see signs of stabilisation,' said Finance Minister Jurgen Ligi.
'However, this means additional decisions are needed to continue to join the euro, if the country can afford the cost of course,' he added in a statement.
The ministry forecast a gross domestic product drop this year of 14.5 percent, worse than the 8.5 percent previously expected. Under a positive scenario, the GDP drop would be 13.6 percent, it said.
'The government sector deficit will on the border of the Maastricht criterion. In addition to the already made decisions for 2009, improvements to the budget of 2.5 billion kroons will need to be found,' the ministry said in a statement.
- There are enough people in Tartu and Southern Estonia who are interested to fly directly from Tartu to the rest of the world,” said the Mayor of Tartu.
- Opening the air link between Tartu and Stockholm is an important phase in the realization of Estonian Air's strategic objectives. We hope the new route will enliven tourism, develop the economical bonds and tighten relations with educational establishments in different countries,“ said Andrus Aljas, President and CEO of Estonian Air to the guests and passengers gathered at Tartu Airport.
Estonian Air operates between Tartu and Stockholm four times a week; on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The flight time is one hour and 30 minutes.
Flights will be operated by 33-seater SAAB 340 aircraft with one on board service class. A light meal of sandwich and a soft drink is served. All flights with SAAB 340 are operated by Estonian Air Regional, a 100% owned subsidiary of Estonian Air.
The closure of landfills mainly concerns South-West Estonia and the islands. As of 16 July this year, waste to be deposited in Viljandi, Tartu, Põlva, Valga and Võru County should be sent to Pärnu, Järva or Jõgeva County. An increase in the price of refuse collection and waste transport can be prevented by separate collection of waste on site to the greatest possible extent and by the recovery of waste in the largest possible quantity.
The Counties of Lääne, Pärnu, Rapla, Jõgeva and Järva have already closed their landfills which failed to comply with the requirements and waste from these regions has been transported to the landfills meeting environmental requirements already for the last few years.
Tallinn - Officials at the Estonian central bank, Eesti Pank, said Wednesday that the country could meet the Maastricht criteria for euro adoption by the end of the year, but needs to work harder on reducing its budget deficit.
'When the spring forecast of Eesti Pank was being prepared, changes in the tax policy were not yet under consideration, thus we concluded the consumer basket would cheapen by 0.2 per cent as an annual average.'
'But now, as a result of the increased VAT rate, prices will, after all, rise by 0.5 per cent year-on-year,' the central bank said in a new overview of recent developments and future outlook.
'It is very likely that meeting the Maastricht inflation criterion will become possible in the final quarter of the year,' it added.
Adoption of the euro as soon as possible has been identifed as the number one policy priority of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and his minority government, which in July increased VAT from 18 to 20 per cent in a bid to improve revenues.
Estonia's year-on-year GDP declined 15.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 and estimated 16.6 per cent in the second quarter.
The chain will invest more than 30 million kroons into establishing a restaurant that fits 300 persons in the Solaris Centre.
The Lido restaurant in Tallinn will provide jobs to more than 100 persons. The buffet-restaurant with the cozy interior inspired by the Old Town of Riga and the national atmosphere that has become Lido’s brand will be situated on 1,290 square meters in the Solaris Centre and will offer more than 180 different meals for self-service customers.
Lido’s food selection and the price level will be the same as in Latvia.
The paper, by Trend Micro threat analysts Ben April, Feike Hacquebord, and Rainer Link, is entitled "A Cybercrime Hub." It can be downloaded as a pdf here.
Hacquebord introduces the masquerading Estonian ISP in a Trend Micro blog post. The illicit network has been in operation since 2005. "Employees administer sites that host codec Trojans and command and control servers that steer armies of infected computers," he writes.
A bunch of daughter companies in cahoots with the illegitimate ISP were taken offline in 2008. However, the operation recovered from that blow, and today, Hacquebord writes "we count about 20 different webhosting providers where the criminal Estonian outfit has its presence. Besides this, the company own two networks in the United States."
Yet Poland, like many of the other new democracies in our region, remains stuck in the past when it comes to the humane treatment of drug users. Indeed, throughout the former Soviet bloc, there is a disturbing trend in using outdated, conservative and heavy-handed policies to address drug abuse.
For example, Gdansk — the birthplace of the Solidarity movement — does not have a single methadone treatment center. People must travel for three hours to get the medicine that is proven to control cravings and reduce the harms of drug use. They are the lucky ones. Only 5 percent of opiate users in Poland have access to methadone at all, compared with 40 percent in Germany.
Most visitors to Latvia only get near the seaside at Jurmala. But the country can boast almost 500 km of shoreline, much of which couldn’t be more different to the bling-sprinkled resort near Riga. You won’t find any waterslides or mojitos on the bit between Ventspils and Kolka. In fact, this stretch of Baltic coast is so undeveloped that there is just one shop along its entire 84 km. Its tiny fishing villages are mostly connected by unpaved roads. It’s so remote that Estonian mobile networks dominate on the beaches, a reminder that the island of Saaremaa is so near that you can see it on clear days.
Some may read this description and think it would make a perfect solo holiday destination for their mother-in-law. However, people who spend time exploring the quirky history and natural beauty of this backwater have a universal tendency to fall in love with it. So before dropping granny off you may want to reconnoiter the place yourself.
Long live the Livs
Language can be a touchy issue in Latvia. It may therefore come as a surprise to discover that this region is officially bilingual, though not in a Latvian-Russian, Latvian-English or other combination you might expect. Rather, on all the area’s signs pride of place next to Latvian goes to Livonian. The Livonians (or Livs as they are sometimes known) are Latvia’s most ancient residents. Speaking a language related to Finnish and Estonian, they lived for thousands of years across the country. Unfortunately, a combination of low birthrates and persecution by the various foreign powers ruling down the ages meant that by the 20th century they were reduced to occupying the northwestern corner of the land.
"As I said, the work of the Government will be assessed after it has come clear whether we join euro-zone," Ilves said.
According to Ilves, the joining euro is a task which the government has set itself.
"Current cutbacks have been done, so we could join euro. If Estonia joins euro, we can say that the government's policy has been justified. If it appears that we do not get euro /…/ then we can say that the government has failed," he added.
Ilves emphasized that the Government has made several decisions without any discussion.