Tallink owner: Estonian government lacks an economic policy

Ain Hanschmidt.
Ain Hanschmidt. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Estonian government lacks an economic policy in a situation where the GDP has been falling for a long time, Ain Hanschmidt, CEO of Eesti Gaas and Tallink owner Infortar, said in an interview to Kroonika.

"Revenue is up 12 percent per year, while the government still tells us the state budget is in the red. Something is thoroughly wrong in Estonia. We should be thinking about how to grow our GDP, while we are busying ourselves with all kinds of nonsense instead," Hanschmidt told the publication.

Hanschmidt said that the Estonian economy has been in recession for six straight quarters. "We are keeping our nose above water thanks to the nearness of Finland. We have no economic policy and no thought is given to how to send the economy growing. The only modus operandi is to hike taxes and then distribute the revenue."

"The Tallinn-Pärnu highway still does not have four lanes, while it's seeing insane traffic. I suppose politicians do not drive to and from Pärnu and do not see just how dangerous it is. A lot of EU subsidies are going unused because no one can be bothered," Hanschmidt said.

"The economic laws still apply – five consecutive quarters of recession should merit public sector investment, starting with constructing the Tallinn-Pärnu and Tallinn-Tartu highways in full," the businessman added.

Hanschmidt also criticized the EU's green transition plans. "The European Union is awash with populism, as opposed to taking a frank look at what can and cannot be done. The consumer will end up paying for the green transition. "Tallink will have to pay €57 million in green taxes annually, which will be taken from the pocket of customers."

"People should be able to consume more as that is what will kickstart growth. We cannot suffocate people with taxes," Hanschmidt said. "The state apparatus should also be thinner. If we look at where our money is being spent, a lot of it is going toward maintaining the bureaucracy. The state budget is so complicated that no one has any idea where the money is being spent."


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

Source: Kroonika, Delfi

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