Decision on Tallink €150 million state loan put back to next week

Source: Andres Raudjalg/Tallink

A proposed loan to Estonian shipping firm Tallink may not be decided on this week. The government is holding its regular Thursday meeting as usual, but economic affairs minister Taavi Aas says that it will only be on the agenda if agreement is reached on its terms. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) had previously expressed a hope that a deal would be struck this week.

Tallink has applied for a €150 million liquidity loan via state agency KredEx as a result of negative economic effects arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

Taavi Aas said that negotiations on terms were still ongoing, hence the decision would not be made this week.

"If we need even longer negotiations, it will be on the agenda next week," Aas added.

KredEx has reportedly already sent provisional loan terms to Tallink.

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said last week that these conditions were reasonable, and in the course of negotiations, Tallink must give an account of what they want to add or take away from same.

"I believe we will be ready to discuss this in government in a week," Helme said at the time. 

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) also expressed hope to reach a decision on 7 May. 

Tallink has seen its passenger ferry service halted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing restrictions, including Finland closing its borders. The company is starting to sell tickets following an announcement by the Finnish government at the start of this week, that Estonians with an employment contract in Finland would be able to enter or reenter the country.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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