Businessman Hillar Teder, second richest Estonian with an estimated 240-million-euro fortune, has donated over one million euros to the four parliamentary parties since the last elections.
That figure is about nine-fold higher than the second most generous political donor, Oleg Ossinovski, Estonia's richest person according to Äripäev. While Teder has donated to all the top parties, Ossinovski has only helped the Social Democrats, with 140,000 euros, Eesti Ekspress reported.
Märt Vooglaid is third on the list, with 131,500 euros worth of donations to the Reform Party, followed by security businessman Urmas Sõõrumaa (80,000 to the Reform Party and 40,000 to the Center Party).
Teder favors the Reform Party (590,000 euros) and IRL (363,000), but has also given financial aid to the Center Party (30,000) and the Social Democrats (22,800 euros).
“I do not like political platforms, but economic policy positions,” Teder said, adding that he has good relations with politicians and meets with them to discuss the Estonian business sector. “We are currently discussing how to help Ukraine with capital loans through foreign credit institutions,” he said.
To put Teder's party financing generosity into context, the Reform Party pulled in 464,000 euros in donations last year. Teder's 590,000 euros to the party over four years represents a very large piece of the combined donations.
IRL received 364,000 euros last year, with the Social Democrats declaring 204,000 and the Center Party just 153,000 euros.
Donations, however, are not the largest source of income for political parties. Last year the Reform Party received 1.76 million euros from state coffers. Center Party took in 1.39 million from the state, IRL 1.23 million and the Social Democrats one million euros.
Editor: J.M. Laats