What the papers say: Flooding in Võru, bikers' Christmas candy drive ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Newspapers (photos is illustrative).
Newspapers (photos is illustrative). Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, in addition to several other major topics, the papers in Estonia also wrote about how political parties' recently highlighted financial troubles look, flooding hitting the already storm-ravaged Võru, the reopening of a renovated kindergarten in Pärnu County, and a Christmas candy drive being organized by bikers again this year.

Vote for credit card debtors?

The financial status of three of five of Estonia's parliamentary political parties is in such bad shape that the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK) has doubts about whether they are financially viable, and the biggest debtor of the three is the Centre Party, the senior partner in the governing coalition, who after three years of troubles is facing the prospect of being legally required to ask the ERJK for help, daily Postimees writes in an editorial (link in Estonian).

If political parties can be so aptly be compared to credit card debtors that must occasionally officially confirm that they understand the size of the obligations which they have taken on and have a plan for how to address them, then one is justified in asking whether such a political force is fit to lead the state.

Unfortunately, this is typical of Estonia's parliamentary parties, who continue this cycle from election to election, and that despite rather large sums of taxpayer-paid support, the original point of which is to reduce parties' financial dependence on large donations, which frequently come from businesspeople whose business is often closely linked to the state.

The establishment of a transparency register and legislative regulation of lobbying has remained tough going in Estonia over the years, despite the desperate need for such rules, especially considering how inexpensive it would be to influence parties that are in the red.

Until parties themselves clean up their act financially, voters can also take into consideration how well a political power is capable of managing themselves financially.

Heavy rains causing flooding in Võru

Just over a week after a storm that knocked out power and communications in the entire city, parts of Võru are flooding as heavy rains continue for the second day in a row, regional paper Lõuna-Eesti Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The city had received 11 notices of basement flooding by noon on Tuesday, but it's likely that high water levels are affecting more homes than that.

The water level in Lake Tamula is currently 67 meters above sea level, which nonetheless falls below the threshold of 69.7 meters above sea level considered dangerous to the city.

According to the Estonian Weather Service, a total of 27.3 millimeters of precipitation fell in the Southeastern Estonian city on Monday.

Renovated kindergarten in Suigu reopened

Once the unrenovated Soviet-era setting of a photoshoot by Katrina Tang for British children's fashion magazine Junior, Suigu Kindergarten in Pärnu County's Tori Municipality reopened following extensive renovations, regional paper Pärnu Postimees writes (link in Estonian).

The kindergarten, which was first built 30 years ago, received a new roof, doors and windows, ventilation system, insulation, and even a geothermal heating system and solar panels that will generate power for the building.

Work planned for next year includes the improvement of the building's rainwater drainage system.

Are School director Anneli Uibo hopes that the building may still be used as the setting for more photoshoots in the future, adding that one storeroom retained its old appearance as well.

Bikers collecting Christmas candy for orphanages

Carrying on a charity tradition started by Pikne Motorcycle Club in Tallinn five years ago, Rakvere Raibe Riding Club is one of several biker clubs across Estonia chipping in to collect and distribute Christmas candy for orphanages ahead of the holidays, regional paper Virumaa Teataja writes (link in Estonian).

RC board member Aare Raam said that Rakvere residents participated in the Tallinn-based candy drive last year, but the plan this year is to collect candy locally and organize the delivery thereof to not just children in orphanages, but other children in need as well.

Last year, bikers collected a total of 500 kilograms of candy; the goal this year is to raise an entire metric ton. And if the weather allows, bikers in Rakvere hope to drop off the candy by motorcycle.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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