The editorial by Postimees daily in its weekend edition expressed concern about the announced layoffs of 347 employees of an electronics plant in a town of 11,000.
PKC Estonia's decision to end operations in Haapsalu and consolidate in Keila, a Tallinn bedroom community 80 kilometers away, is expected to mean 7 percent less revenue for the otherwise quiet tourist town, the daily reported.
"The largest layoff in recent times has again raised the question of tax incentives for companies operating outside Tallinn. It's easy to see a panacea here, but would state subsidies work?" The daily argues that the only effect of subsidies would be to stimulate a ring-shaped area of intense economic activity around the capital.
As commutes of 80 kilometers are not unheard of, and indeed some Haapsalu residents commute to Tallinn, the daily says "investments into infrastructure to make moving between point A and B in Estonia are the most effective regional policy, so that people could continue to live in their beloved hometown and be able to draft behind their employers."