A few months before the new Estonian government came to power, the previous government declared a sales offer of state-owned telecommunications company AS Levira, which administers also the landmark Tallinn TV tower, but the new economy minister Urve Palo intends to stop the sale of Levira, LETA/Eesti Päevaleht writes.
"Yes, I intend to raise the issue of sale of Levira at the cabinet meeting in the near future and make a proposal to stop the sales process," Palo said.
Palo said that there are two reasons for stopping the sale: first, security and second, the symbolic meaning of the TV tower. Eesti Päevaleht wrote that the Security Police has issued an evaluation about selling shares of Levira too.
The 314 metres-high TV tower is the symbol of Estonia regaining independence, which the Soviet army tried to conquer in August 1991. The building was re-opened to public in 2012, after thorough renovations and became a major tourist attraction at once. It had to be open for public for the next five years. If sold, the new owner could close it in 2017.
Levira was formed in 1997, providing broadcasting, media and IT infrastructure services in Estonia, the Baltic states and Nordic states. The Estonian state has a 51% stake in it and French company TDF 49% of shares. The economy ministry announced in February that the state's 51% stake will be sold together with TDF's 49% of shares. Thus the aim of the sales offer is to sell 100% of Levira's shares together.