The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) spent more than €600,000 in the first quarter of 2019 and reported a total income of €200,000. While the party spent roughly half a million euros on its political advertising leading up to the 3 March general election, one of its recently elected MPs has bought his third radio station.
According to ERR's Estonian news, the party's income came from state subsidies and donations more or less to equal parts, at over €90,000 each. What does stand out is the fact that EKRE got a vast number of small donations, ranging from a few ten to a few hundred euros.
This puts the party closest to anything that could be called a grassroots phenomenon in current Estonian politics.
The largest single donation EKRE received came from businessman Toomas Tamm and amounted to €10,000. Mr Tamm made his money with a car dealership, among other ventures.
Other notable donations were in the €5,000 range. Recently elected Riigikogu member Siim Pohlak (EKRE) donated €3,931 as well. Mr Pohlak recently got the attention of the media for buying another radio station, Ruut FM based in Valga, bringing the number of stations he owns to three. The others are Tre raadio and Ring FM.
EKRE reported that it spent a total of €633,269 in the first quarter of 2019, €608,845 of which was spent on "political activities". Of this sum, some €500,000 were apparently spent on advertising, ERR's Estonian online news wrote.
Editor: Dario Cavegn