Enterprise Estonia likely to try and get more money back from Ermamaa (3)

Ärma Farm, located in Viljandi County, has been in former President Ilves' family for generations. (Postimees/Scanpix)
11/2/2016 4:45 PM
Source: BNS
Category: Business

Enterprise Estonia will likely start a recovery procedure to get back a larger part of the €190,000 grant paid to former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ company, OÜ Ermamaa. Initially Ilves was asked to pay just 10% back, but now an audit by the Finance Ministry published on Wednesday calls for a larger amount.

Ilves’ company received the grant in 2006 to convert the family’s country home into a tourism farm. The funds were used to build facilities that then weren’t used for their intended purpose.

At a press conference on Wednesday Enterprise Estonia chairman Erki Mölder said that the decisions made by the fund’s management board in 2016 were by and large legitimate, although they were made in a hurry. “This is the sole criticism of the present board of Enterprise Estonia, that they should have taken more time to make the decision,” Mölder said.

He added, however, that taking more time would not necessarily have led to a different outcome. The alternative for the management board, he said, would have been to start a new recovery procedure.

“And apparently this will be done now as well, but before that it is necessary to get a legal assessment,” Mölder said.

Two audits the outcomes of which were published on Wednesday, one commissioned by Enterprise Estonia and the other by the Finance Ministry, both indicate unequivocally that 90% of the funding given to OÜ Ermamaa, not 10%, should have been reclaimed, as the Ilves’ Ärma Farm only briefly operated as a tourist and conference center. Also, Erki Mölder said on Wednesday that the Ermamaa case had been solved extremely favorably for OÜ Ermamaa.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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