What the papers say: No secrets, black ice, new film production center

Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative).
Estonian newspapers (photo is illustrative). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

On Tuesday, Nov. 26 the papers were dominated by the fallout of former Secretary General Illar Lemetti being released from his post by Prime Minister jüri Ratas, but ERR News also brings you a round-up of other interesting stories of the day.

All links are in Estonian. 

No secrets about Chinese investment in Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel

Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel-backer Peter Vesterbacka told Ärileht there are no secret plots or ulterior motives as to why the Chinese want to invest in the potential infrastructure project.

In response to a question about why the Chinese should invest in the project, Vesterbacka replied that the Chinese, like other investors, want to invest in "good and profitable projects".

Vesterbacka is not worried that the tunnel is part of the Chinese state plans or that large state-owned companies would be involved, he said: "This transaction does not involve any supply of political or public order. At least to my knowledge, there is no secrecy on the part of the Chinese Communist Party here."

Current calculations show the tunnel would be paid off in 17 years and the return on investment is estimated to be 10 percent.

Black ice causes accidents in southern Estonia

More than 20 accidents took place on the roads in south Estonia on Tuesday morning as temperatures dropped below zero and roads iced over, Tartu Postimees reported.

The majority of accidents were not serious but two crashes saw drivers and passengers taken to hospital. Most collisions occurred during the morning rush hour in Tartu and Jõgeva Counties, but there were also four in Viljandi County and one in Valga County.

Police reported that most people were using winter tires but had not adapted their driving to the weather conditions and black ice.

Hollywood comes to Tallinn

Postimees reports that the City of Tallinn and Tallinn Film Wonderland are working together to create a new production center at Paljasaare in north Tallinn. Three studios and a utility room are planned to be completed by 2022, and Tallinn will invest €5 million through AS Tallinna Tööstuspargid to promote economic growth and jobs.

Deputy major Aivar Riisalu said: "It is clear that many international film production companies and directors have a keen interest in filming in this area. We must seize this opportunity and reap the benefits." A video of where the film production center will be built can be seen here.

Pärnu hospital waiting times

Pärnu Postimees writes that waiting times are three times longer than they should be for some specialists at the summer capital's hospital a report from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund shows. The reason behind these waits is a lack of doctors, the paper wrote, but said it is also normal to wait longer to see a specialist or specific doctor and that emergency cases were included in the statistics. However, the specified time a patient should be able to see a doctor in is six weeks or 42 days, but a graph included in the article shows that wait times for several specialists are between 66 and 123 days.

Lea Kalda, head of customer services at Pärnu Hospital said they are competing for staff with hospitals in Tallinn and Tartu. 

4,000 people attend Black Food Festival

More than 4,000 people attended Tallinn's first Black Food Festival on Sunday, Delfi reports. More than 6,000 donuts and 400 bao buns were consumed by visitors and chefs from Noa Chef's Hall took home several of the top prizes on offer.

"The interest in the event was tremendous, and from the opening of the doors at 11 a.m. until the evening, the Nordic factory was full of people," says festival organizer Karin Lillemaa, who said that caterers were pleasantly surprised how much interest there was in the event.

The festival has previously been held in Budapest, Berlin, New York, London, Helsinki and other cities, the event's creator Regina Borose said that the Tallinn event was by far the largest and most successful.

Coop opens five new stores in four weeks

Maaleht writes that Coop will open five new stores in November and December: in Märja and Mõisavahe in Tartu, in Jõhvi, in Peetri near Tallinn and in Narva-Jõesuu.

In total, Coop has opened eight new stores this year and plans to open eight more in 2020.

"The point of cooperative trade is to invest the earned income back into the trading network because we do not have any core investors or major owners, but we literally belong to the clients themselves, or 75,000 cooperative members," said Alo Ivask, CEO of Coop Eesti Keskühistu.

Other stories from today's papers:

Newspapers criticize prime minister's decision to release Lemetti

Paper: Journalists' union worried about punishment of whistleblowers

LSM: Anger at airBaltic cabin baggage rule change


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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