Tallinn Mayor's Loans Forgiven (1)
Two individuals who loaned Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar over 200,000 euros have relieved him of his repayment obligations.
Yesterday, Estonia's official journal Riigi Teataja ran an economic interests disclosure in which Savisaar had listed the borrowed money as income.
Eesti Päevaleht reported in 2011 that the first loan, for 31,955 euros, was borrowed from Savisaar's longtime friend Aleksander Kofkin, a real estate and hotel businessman. Having emigrated from Estonia in the 1970s, Kofkin has lived in Switzerland and is an Austrian citizen. He has done business in Riga and Spain.
Asked about the loan by the newspaper in 2011, Kofkin responded that it was a personal matter, even if he had given 20 million euros, and implied that the reporter's query had crossed ethical boundaries.
The second loan, for 173,550 euros, was received from Peter Kaiser, a businessman from Liechtenstein whose background is not as well known. More specifically, the money came from Kaiser's company registered in Panama, the Pipa Business Corporation.
Savisaar has been mayor of Tallinn since 2007 and before that from 2001-2004. His most recently reported primary salary was 3,286 euros per month. He has two properties, a garage in Tallinn and the Hundisilm farm estate in Lääne-Viru County. He also has a stake in Fixor Holding, which has been reported as owning Estonia's easternmost island, Salusaar.
Under the Anti-corruption Act, a wide range of politicians are required to file a declaration of economic interests, but no cap is established on the value of gifts.