Truck company MAN Truck & Bus AG and Estonian company
Tallinn City Transport have signed an agreement in Munich on delivery of 40
passenger buses, reported LETA the press service of Tallinn City
A half of the ordered buses are 12-meters long, and another half – joined
buses consisting of two parts with a total length of 18.75 meters. They are
expected to arrive to Tallinn by the end of the year.
Four applicants took part in a tender. The agreement was concluded with an
applicant offering best conditions as acknowledged by the commission. Tallinn
bought 35 buses during previous two years, all of them were produced at
MAN factory. The first 12-meters buses came to Estonia in May 2012, these
vehicles proved to be good on Tallinn's roads. Drivers are also satisfied with
their quality; therefore, more MAN buses were ordered recently.
The Estonian Riigikogu foreign committee was given an
overview of the results of the Estonian-Russian border agreement consultations
so far; the 2005 agreement text has been supplemented with two sentences by now,
LETA/Postimees Online reports.
These sentences are: 1. With this agreement only issues concerning the state
border are regulated; and 2. Confirming reciprocally the lack of territorial
Foreign minister Urmas Paet told Postimees that the suitability
of adding these sentences was discussed with the Riigikogu foreign committee
already in March and an approval was received. "After that we have communicated
with the Russian side for a couple of months and now that solution suits both
With these supplements, the consultations between the two states that lasted
for seven months are over and the direct role of the foreign ministry ends.
Next, the Estonian government has to approve of the agreement text after
which it could be signed. Then the ratification process in the parliament
Paet did not wish to forecast whether the prediction of Russian State Duma
foreign committee chairman Aleksei Pushkov that the agreement could be
signed by summer, would come true or not. "It is complicated to estimate
timewise all these domestic processes," said Paet.
During the seven months of consultations, no negotiations were conducted over
where the state border would run and the location of the border will be where it
was in the 2005 agreement.
The Lithuanian government has expressed an interest in short or long-term cooperation with Estonia's national airline, but the Estonian minister of economy, Juhan Parts, said it is too early to predict if that interest will materialize.
Lithuania's own carrier, FlyLAL, grounded its fleet four years ago, and the nation's cabinet is looking for ways to increase the number of direct flights to and from Vilnius. Lithuania's presidency of the Council of the European Union begins in July of this year. The government says the current lack of flights is a problem.
Parts concurred that Estonian Air is flexible enough and has the resources to lend Lithuania a hand. A common Baltic airline is a long-standing idea, but has not been accomplished and is highly unlikely to manifest, said Toomas Peterson, an ex-CEO of Estonian Air.
“Estonian Air currently has big problems and Air Baltic is likewise fighting Brussels, and if we were to join these troubled companies into one, that synergy would not be an advantage,” said Peterson.
“Current reality is in the shadow of dreams, and in that sense Estonia does not measure up to expectations. At the same time, the fact that we have regained our independence and accelerated development relatively successfully compared to other transitional societies and that we have kept going forward [...] we should be happy that we have achieved so much,” said Rüütel, speaking on ERR radio today.
Rüütel said that the country has failed to predict many risks and problems that have unavoidably accompanied reforms.
“Many working-age people are leaving the country and we have failed to create jobs for them. And we failed to address a number of other social problems, like support for the family, which society is based on. That has caused low birth rates,” said Rüütel, who was president between 2001 and 2006.
Rüütel concluded by saying that reforms have made the state sustainable, but looking farther ahead, it becomes clear that the problem of a declining population remains to be fixed.
The Estonian delegation at the talks is headed by Ambassador Jüri Luik
and foreign ministry deputy chancellor Lauri Bambus. Estonia and Russia re-launched border agreement consultations in October last
Estonian and Russian foreign ministers signed the border agreement between
Estonia and Russia in May 2005. The Riigikogu ratified the agreement that summer
but added a preamble that states that the new border agreement changes partly
the state border line determined with the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920 but won't
affect the rest of the matters regulated by the treaty.
Less than a month later Russia announced that it will withdraw its signature
from the border agreement claiming that the preamble that Estonia added enables
to present territorial claims against Russia. Estonia has repeatedly said that
it doesn't have any territorial claims against Russia.
Stenbock House - Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met
with the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Mr. Torsten Albig. At the
meeting, the prime ministers confirmed that cooperation relations are good and
acknowledged that the contacts made decades ago have become self-evident, real
and mutually beneficial in various fields.
Estonia and Schleswig-Holstein have longstanding and close partnership
relations in the areas of the environment, economy and agriculture. In order to
fight against organised and drug-related crime, the police organisations
cooperate very closely and share their experience. Cultural contacts are
actively being promoted too and good twinning relations have been built between
twenty or so cities in Estonia and Schleswig-Holstein. Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein Torsten Albig expressed his interest in
Estonia’s e‑services and in cooperation for the development of digital
Prime Minister Ansip confirmed that Estonia would be very willing to share
its knowledge and emphasized at the same time that cross-border digital
solutions would make administration notably more efficient in the region.
“Estonia as an e-state flagship is interested in the simplified management of
public affairs everywhere in Europe and we whole-heartedly support the creation
of a common digital market in the European Union,” said Ansip at the
The issues of the European Union economy and the Union itself were also
discussed at the meeting. The prime ministers acknowledged that Estonia and
Germany share similar values and positions in several economic issues. Ansip
said that the foundations of actual economic growth are structural reforms,
prudent economic policy and a moderate sovereign debt.
Taiwanese citizen Alex Tsai, 67, suspected by the US government of supplying weapons machinery to North Korea, has been arrested in Tallinn at the request of US officials.
Tsai was detained on May 1 and placed under a 30-day arrest the following day. Prosecutors are currently awaiting extradition documents from the US.
According to a May 6 release from the US Department of Justice, Alex Tsai, whose full name is Hsien Tai Tsai, and his son Gary Tsai, 36, a Chicago resident, were picked up by Estonian and US authorities on the same day.
Both are facing charges of "conspiring to violate US laws designed to thwart the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" and money laundering, according to US federal law enforcement officials.
Prosecutors have alleged that the two were associated with companies in Taiwan that had purchased and exported machinery from the US that is used to fabricate metals and other materials with a high degree of precision.
The US Treasury Department has said that Alex Tsai has been supplying goods with weapons production capabilities to a North Korean company since the late 1990s.
Officials announced on Friday that Estonia would not appeal a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that awarded about 50,000 euros in damages for the detention and alleged ill-treatment of the plaintiffs during the 2007 riots sparked by the relocation of the Bronze Soldier monument.
“The reason is that the internal and justice ministries, who’s jurisdiction the case falls under, both concluded after analysis that an appeal would have no prospects, as the human rights court has considered virtually all aspects,” said Urmas Paet, Estonia’s foreign minister, on ETV on Friday.
“The court rejected most complaints, but in four cases it satisfied the claims,” said Paet.
The plaintiffs were Andrei Korobov, a member of the pro-Kremlin organization Night Watch, and six people connected to him, according to the judgement.
The court awarded 11,000 euros in damages to Aleksandr Korobov, Gennadi Mihhaidarov, Valeri Zatvornitski; 14,000 euros to Sergei Petrov; and a joint 3,000 euros to cover legal costs for the four. The Court declared inadmissible the complaints of the other three plaintiffs.
The vote will take place at the May 25 party congress in Tartu, where a new leadership will also be appointed, spokesman Silver Pukk told uudised.err.ee.
The next leadership will see more fresh faces, but most incumbents are also running.
Ansip has led the Reform Party since 2004. He is also the second-longest serving prime minister in the European Union, in office since 2005. He has pledged, however, that he will not lead Estonia's next government.
Firstly, the President of Estonia has no real power, he is basically a figurehead who doesn't create policy, rather he just rubber-stamps what is put in front of him. Thus crediting him with any economic success (leaving aside for the moment whether there is anything there worth crediting) is simply wrong.
One fact that is correct is that Estonia is the poorest country in the eurozone. Children are starving, pensioners are often toothless because they can't afford dental care - often they must choose between buying medicine or food when can't really afford either one. The unemployed have no health coverage. People are moving out of the country in droves basically becoming economic refugees. Many of those who are still "living" there are actually working outside of Estonia (most often Finland) and thus the family model of kids growing up hardly ever seeing their father is almost becoming the norm.
It seems like readers of this paper by and large don't realize the harsh reality of life in Estonia today and thus when politicians like Ilves, Ansip, Lang etc. come here to speak they are greeted with applause when they talk about how wonderful things are. Me, I just want to throw up and then hit somebody. For them, sure things are wonderful but as far as I am concerned, they have sold out their own people and belong in jail for their crimes.
The head of government states: “Free transport does not exist. The taxpayer still pays for public transport which the customer then receives for free. In the end, the cost to society is much more than it would be if each customer paid individually for every trip. Such experiments – where public transport is virtually free – have been held globally. These experiments, however, made little difference and came to an end.”
According to Andrus Ansip, it is not the price that is at stake but the quality of services.
“If the quality of services is already much worse than any estimates, then public transport may not be able to meet the needs of the people. The average Tallinn tram is twenty-five years old – it is a museum hobbling along on rails.”
It will be his first visit to Estonia, upon the invitation of the Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Karzai will also meet with Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Speaker of Parliament Ene Ergma.
The meeting agenda will focus on bilateral cooperation and Afghanistan post-2014, when Afghan military and police forces take over responsibility for security from coalition forces. Estonia's second-to-last infantry unit to serve in Afghanistan will be deployed next month, ahead of the Estonian forces' April 2014 pullout.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Afghanistan earlier this month.
IVANGOROD — Remains of Affanasi Lenkov, a Russian soldier who died during the final stage of the World War II, was returned on Saturday to his homeland nation of Russia from Estonia, where he had “slept” for nearly 70 years.
The returning ceremony was held just two weeks before the Victory Day at Ivangorod, a small town in western Russia bordering with Estonia, during which Russian honor guards received ceremously the remains of Lenkov placed in a coffin from Estonian military representatives.
Remains of Lenkov was found at a grave discovered in the Sarremaa Island, Estonia, by an Estonian NGO named Otsing, which have been specializing on discovering undefined military graves.
With medals and orders which was found along with the remains in the grave, Otsing identified it as Srgt. Affanasi Lenkov who died during the bloody battle late November of 1944 when Soviet Army freed the island from the German troops.
Otsing found Lenkov, who was originally from Severodvinsk city of Russia, had no relatives by now, but would like follow the wish of Severodvinsk’s veterans organization to bury Lenkov at his hometownon of Severodvinsk on May 9, the V-day.
According to the information disclosed by the Otsing, more than 100,000 undefined soldiers graves may be located in the forest of northeastern Estonia and on the islands. In recent five years, Otsing has returned to homeland more than five soldiers’ remains discovered in Estonia.
His comments came after the EU executive, the European Commission, has signalled an end to sharp spending cuts.
"There is always a concern that in periods that are more calm, a certain kind of complacency is generated or maybe it reduces the pressure to reform," Hansson, the head of the Estonia central bank, told a news conference.
"It is a reminder we are dealing with the fundamentals," added Hansson, who has said in the past that the debate about economic growth versus austerity is misplaced, given high budget deficits in Europe.
His views were echoed in a review of the small Baltic state by the Estonian central bank, which said that financial market stability had been partly restored late last year, but that worries could again arise. This could happen "if not all member states contribute sufficiently to implementing the European Union reforms or if they do not improve their own national fiscal position", the report said.
"For any potential banking crisis to be resolved quickly and effectively, it is necessary for public finances to be in good condition," the review added. Estonian total government debt in 2012 totalled 10.1 percent of gross domestic product, a fraction of the debt levels in many other euro zone states.
Estonia is today observing its first official Veterans Day.
The Carolin Illenzeer Fund is named after the daughter of Arre Illenzeer, a senior warrant officer who was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004, ETV reported. Illenzeer only saw his daughter once, just after her birth, when he came to Estonia for vacation in the summer of 2004. The fund currently supports 45 children.
"[The fund] has a symbolic meaning. It shows the growing strength of Estonian civil society, that we care for and notice each other. Knowing that society cares for its soldiers and their families, knowing that if something happens no one will be left alone, that children will be helped to attain a good education - that gives security to those who have made defending Estonia their profession," said President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the event.
“We are not running against anyone, but only seek to end the monopoly of power [in Tallinn] and the Soviet-era party chain of command,” said Rainer Vakra, the head of the group, in a press release today.
Four of the independent MPs left the Center Party in protest a year ago after the fifth, MP Kalle Laanet, was expelled for criticizing the Center Party in the media.
The Democrats and the Social Democrats signed a memorandum in March to harmonize their activity in Parliament.
In addition to the five MPs, a few dozen other members of the Democrats, not formally a party but a nonprofit, will take part in the elections, set for October 20.
Lawmakers voted 46-34 with four
abstentions today in the capital, Tallinn, to back Laar, 53, who’ll replace
outgoing Jaan Mannik for a five-year term starting June 13, according to the
Laar, Estonia’s first elected
prime minister after the country regained independence in 1991, liberalized
prices and began to sell off state assets in the Baltic nation. During his
tenure, Estonia became the first country in eastern Europe to
introduce a flat income tax in 1994. Laar, who resigned as defense minister last
May after suffering a stroke three months earlier, returned to parliament in
“Mart Laar, who has withdrawn from party politics having twice served as
prime minister of the Republic of Estonia and who was one of the chief
architects of the economic reforms that laid the foundation for Estonia’s
success, is a tough person with excellent willpower,” President Toomas Ilves
said on April 9 when proposing Laar’s candidacy.
The country’s political
opposition has criticized Laar’s nomination for threatening the central bank’s
independence. Laar told the Postimees newspaper in an interview this month
that he won’t quit Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit, saying his only link with the
party is limited to serving as its honorary chairman.
It will take place today, April 22. The demonstration will start at 8 pm in Tammsaare park in central Tallinn and move under slogans, flags and burning torches to the building of the Ministry of Economic Affairs that is responsible for overseeing the electricity market.
It is the third such demonstration organized by the Centre Party. The first two were held on February 21 in Tallinn that attracted more than 500 people and February 28 that was held in front of Tartu Town Hall.
The main goal, according to the opposition party, was to show that "Estonians don't intend to just forget about the rise in the price of electricity", the party said before the rallies, threatening to repeat the events in Bulgaria where the government was forced into resignation over nationwide angry protests against electricity prices.
Mäggi says that he remembers back in 2007 that when a waste management company was looking for hire waste truck drivers and offered them the equivalent of 2,000 euros a month, it still could not find anyone interested. Today, waste truck drivers in Estonia only dream about such salaries.
The simple truth is that if you are paid very good wages, even unpleasant jobs including that of transporting waste become tolerable. If you are paid peanuts, even the most pleasant jobs become unpleasant.
Average wages in Estonia are too low, keep purchasing power down and are causing social tension. Salaries are so low because the work is too cheap. Wages and prices are directly linked. Once a hairdresser’s saloon doubles the price, it can pay twice higher salaries. However, the problem is that the owners know that if they increase prices, but keep wages unchanged, they will double their profit.
Take money away from foreigners
I hope that the next general elections will be won by the party who can create jobs so that wealth of Estonians continues to grow. Wage growth itself will not be sufficient, because often it comes at the expense of some other sector. The trick is to take money away from foreigners.