In this week's Eesti Ekspress, the paper writes about how Eesti Post, the state-owned postal service, and Tallinn city mishandled a sale of a plum city center plot of land that could have financed many of the company's current obligations without needing to increase price of service as its CEO seeking to do.
The weekly re-ran an old cover story in which it described how the country's top construction company Merko and its supervisory board chairman and 70 percent owner Toomas Annus were able to finesse the terms of a contract that landed them the plot at a fraction of its present worth, the weekly writes.
The lot was vacant for years after the construction of the central post office in 1980. The events described by Ekspress took place between 2001 and 2005. The plot had been used as a parking lot for the postal service.
Originally Eesti Post (which has now rebranded as Omniva for the foreign market) was to keep parking spaces next door to the post office and 8 percent of a new building but in the end it didn't get any of it. The new development ended up in the hands of private interests close to Annus.
A real estate appraiser told Ekspress that the postal service should have reaped 100 million euros from the plot, which is across from the Viru Hotel and is today home to the Nordic Hotel Forum.