Sõõrumaa: Current economic growth is deceptive

Urmas Sõõrumaa.
Urmas Sõõrumaa. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Businessman and president of the Estonian Olympic Committee Urmas Sõõrumaa told ERR on Wednesday that the current economic growth is deceptive, as it is not based on traditional models.

"It is sort of deceptive. Yes, the so-called economy is growing since stock markets are growing, there is more money coming in and the amount of money in peoples' hands is also increasing," Sõõrumaa told ERR's webcast "Otse uudistemajast" on Wednesday.

"It is likely that something has changed in peoples' understanding. We are not in a typical economic growth that is based on production. Rather, sectors which should be reproducing in the old sense, are currently doing poorly," the businessman added.

He said the coronavirus crisis has led the government to introduce hundreds of millions to the economy. "This creates this warm feeling, but I have not heard of anyone trying to have a substantive discussion. This party will not last forever. What are we prepared to do once this party ends," Sõõrumaa noted.

Patarei fortress construction to start next year

Sõõrumaa announced in May this year that he is looking for new funding options for his Patarei sea fortress development after state credit agency denied the businessman a loan. He confirmed on Wednesday that works will continue.

"Work is ongoing, we are continuing and trying hard off our scarce resources. The money currently being spent is in the millions - designing, studies, drying the existing walls of the moisture deposited there over a long time, this will take a few years. Add to that demolishing unnecessary parts. This will all cost millions, we can handle that. But construction should start in the third quarter of next year. We need tens and tens of millions," Sõõrumaa said.

The entrepreneur said that the Kalamaja district of Tallinn and its coastal area is developing, making the fortress building a very interesting and unique sight for tourists.

He said the development of the Rotermanni quarter is also not done, adding that there should be a connected seven-story object in the place of the Postimaja building and Coca Cola Plaza in mid-town Tallinn.

He said the connection between the seaside and the port to Old Town must be well thought out and established as it should be simple and walkable. "Old Town should be directly connected to with the downtown area surrounding it. It should especially be connected in the part between the port and Old Town," Sõõrumaa said.

Sõõrumaa also spoke about his disappointment in the government and its handling of the coronavirus crisis and said he is considering stopping all donations to political parties. According to the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK), Sõõrumaa has donated more than €1.1 million to political parties since 2013 with Center Party receiving €535,000 and Reform Party receiving €372,500.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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