23.09.23 NEWS ... While the tourism sector is generally recovering after the coronavirus pandemic, rising prices are eroding Estonia's competitive advantage. According to the latest statistics, group tourism in Estonia has fallen significantly.
23.09.23 NEWS ... The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications plans to cut €130 million from the budget previously earmarked for unemployment assistance, between 2025 and 2027. The precise steps to be taken are still being worked out. However, the economic affairs minister said that the period during which benefit payments are made could be reduced, while training provided by the Unemployment Insurance Fund may also be reorganized.
22.09.23 NEWS ... The government postponed the car tax for six months, but the new plans will make it significantly more expensive than the original version. The minister of finance anticipates that the new draft will be completed in the coming weeks and could reach parliament in November.
22.09.23 NEWS ... The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu at its Friday sitting commended the Estonian government for amending its positions, on the Riigikogu's proposal, on the EU initiative regarding the repair of goods.
22.09.23 NEWS ... A figure tied to many loans in Estonia, the six-month Euribor, or Euro Interbank Offered Rate, reached 4.072 percent on Thursday, up from 4.04 percent on week.
22.09.23 NEWS ... Real labor productivity in Estonia has already been falling since the second half of 2021. There has not been such a sustained decline in productivity in Estonia for at least the past 20 years, but at the same time, wage growth is very strong, said Tõnu Mertsina, chief economist at Swedbank, assessing the competitiveness of the economy.
22.09.23 NEWS ... The Southern District Prosecutor's Office has filed a suspicion of submitting false information against major fuel retailer Olerex and its board member and co-owner Andres Linnas, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) wrote Friday.
22.09.23 NEWS ... Educators in Estonia may opt to strike in response to much smaller wage hikes than the government had promised, teachers' union network coordinator Madis Somelar said in an appearance on ETV morning program "Terevisioon" on Friday.
22.09.23 NEWS ... The dwelling price index rose by 5 percent on year to the second quarter of 2023 (Q2 2023), state agency Statistics Estonia reports.
21.09.23 NEWS ... Thursday, the Lääne-Nigula rural municipality council approved the first phase of the special planning for the Risti wind farm, permitting the future installation of up to 25 wind turbines with a maximum height of 270 meters.
21.09.23 NEWS ... The Reform Party would prefer to increase the value-added tax to generate an additional €400 million by 2025, while Eesti 200 would increase property taxes and the Social Democrats would implement a progressive income tax and tax enterprises.
21.09.23 NEWS ... A wave of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks thought to have been the work of pro-Russia hackers and which brought the ticketing service of rail provider Elron have been foiled, and normal service has resumed.
21.09.23 NEWS ... The long-standing plans to construct a wooden "environmental house" (keskkonnamaja) museum and office building in Tallinn's Kalamaja district close to the Seaplane Harbor, remain alive. While the government plans to go ahead with the project, due to a drop in construction prices, a new tender will be launched.
21.09.23 NEWS ... Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) says that the government has decided to halve the planned increases to senior civil servants' salaries over a four-year period.
21.09.23 NEWS ... In an appearance on Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" on Wednesday, Minister of the Interior and Social Democratic Party (SDE) chair Lauri Läänemets said that there are several aspects of the 2024 state budget agreed upon by Estonia's ruling Reform-Eesti 200-SDE government coalition this week that the Social Democrats are unhappy about, but acknowledged that at the end of the day, compromises had to be made.
21.09.23 NEWS ... Tallink Board Chair Paavo Nõgene has criticized Tallinn Airport's plan to develop a large amount of real estate on its own territory, saying the state should not intervene in a market where there is no market failure. However, Tallinn Airport Board Member Eero Pärgmäe says the focus of the plans is purely the airport's own development needs.
21.09.23 NEWS ... Ticket sales for national rail carrier Elron's trains were disrupted Wednesday afternoon, after a cyber attack.
20.09.23 NEWS ... Speaking at the annual economic conference of Äripäev, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said that the current economic situation favors the implementation of structural reforms.
20.09.23 NEWS ... The government froze public sector wages for next year in budget negotiations, with only teachers receiving an increase, but less than promised. The Estonian Trade Union Confederation (EAKL) says the decision was made in haste and could worsen public sector pay levels.
20.09.23 NEWS ... The state budget agreement has been reached, according to Kaja Kallas (Reform), but the budget's revenue and expenditure figures will not be released until Thursday. However, the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) anticipates that the budget for 2025 will be even tighter than next year's.
20.09.23 NEWS ... Tallinn city government has initiated a detailed plan for the northwestern end of Tallinn Airport according to which some 20 commercial buildings are to be built on site. Development plans also call for a new main entrance building as well as the expansion of the current main terminal.
20.09.23 NEWS ... The possible construction of a nuclear power plant in Estonia is up to the Riigikogu to decide. To facilitate a knowledge-based decision on the matter, the Ministry of Climate-led nuclear energy working group commissioned several analyses, according to the latest of which a single nuclear reactor in Estonia would likely generate 12 tons of spent fuel a year, or 720 tons of nuclear waste in its lifetime.
20.09.23 NEWS ... The average annual electricity price for Estonian businesses and households will remain higher than in Finland for several years to come. However, according to Timo Tatar, undersecretary for energy and mineral resources at the Estonian Ministry of Climate, Estonian wind power production will also treble, bringing prices more in line with those of its northern neighbor.
20.09.23 NEWS ... The Estonian National Audit Office believes Nordica's plight shows the Estonian state's lack of skill and interest in its role as owner of a company in such a complex business field as the aviation industry.
20.09.23 NEWS ... From October 1, only workers with a special smart card will be allowed access to major construction sites. Employers will also be required to provide details of these workers to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) in order to help better detect potential tax fraud, including the payment of "envelope wages." Construction companies are unhappy with the new obligations, with the law set to come into force before the smart cards are ready for use.
20.09.23 NEWS ... Bank of Estonia Governor Madis Müller and economist Kaspar Oja on Tuesday criticized the deal struck between the government and commercial banks earlier that day according to which commercial banks operating in the country will be spared from a contemplated new bank tax by paying more dividends next year.
19.09.23 NEWS ... A manor house in South Estonia is being put up for auction with an opening price of €2.6 million.
20.09.23 NEWS ... The producer price index of industrial output fell by 4.4 percent to august 2023, state agency Statistics Estonia reports.
19.09.23 NEWS ... The Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) on Tuesday appointed Peter Lõhmus as the new head of the Estonian Fiscal Council and Karin Jõeveer as a new member of the Council.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Estonian President Alar Karis and his Baltic counterparts met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York, where their discussion focused on issues related to Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine. Speaking at a strategic investment summit, the three heads of state also called on American entrepreneurs to invest in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told reporters after 6 p.m. on Tuesday that the agreement on the state budget was in place. There will be no new taxes in 2024 in addition to those already introduced by the government, and the car tax will be delayed by a year, the head of government said. There will be no cuts in education.
19.09.23 NEWS ... In an interview with ERR, Reform Party former Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said the government's austerity plans and search for new revenues must be linked to the goal of kick-starting economic growth in Estonia.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Olavi Lepp, head of the Estonian Banking Association and CEO of Swedbank's Estonian branch, said that banks would be able to cope with the increase in advance income tax, which has already been decided on. However, Lepp added that an additional bank tax would harm the Estonian economy.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said after a meeting with bank chiefs that her message to them was that banks should contribute in solidarity to the state budget. Kallas reiterated that the Reform Party still does not support a bank tax.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Gas station chains once again raised prices at the pump on Tuesday, with the price of 95-octane gasoline rising to €1.819, 98-octane gas to €1.869 and diesel fuel to €1.719 per liter.
19.09.23 NEWS ... In August, inflation slowed to 5.2 percent in the eurozone and to 5.9 percent in the European Union. Inflation in Estonia was 4.3 percent in August.
19.09.23 NEWS ... The Estonian government intends to include an empty budget line in its 2025 state revenues with no specific tax type indicated but a projected amount of €400 million, or approximately 1 percent of the expected GDP.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Eesti 200 MP Marek Reinaas, who has been participating in the government's state budget negotiations Vihula, has confirmed that there will be no bank tax in Estonia. However, the current budget solution does stipulate that there will be some form of tax increase in the long term. What exactly this pertains to is still to be discussed during the negotiations.
19.09.23 NEWS ... Competition between online supermarkets is fierce, but nonetheless, most customers in Estonia are still buying their food from brick-and-mortar grocery stores, and ordering groceries online is moreso a convenience service in the country's bigger cities. According to Estonian E-Commerce Association estimates, within the next few years, some bigger online supermarket revenues may reach just 10 percent of total revenue at best.
18.09.23 NEWS ... As the basic State Budget Act sets stricter budget rules than EU requirements, Estonia's government coalition will be taking the route of relaxing the basic budget law, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) confirmed Monday. Kallas is set to meet with representatives of banks Tuesday to discuss the idea of a possible banking tax.
18.09.23 ECONOMY ... According to Estonian Minister of the Interior and chair of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) Lauri Läänemets, next year's state budget is already more or less in place. However, Läänemets added, the possible introduction of a new bank tax and any major changes to the budget strategy for the coming years are still to be decided on.
18.09.23 NEWS ... Road construction needs additional funding to the tune of at least €100 million next year, while the government is struggling to come up with the money. Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets believes that a banking tax could be the solution, while Minister of Economic Affairs Tiit Riisalo does not agree.
18.09.23 NEWS ... The network of public electric vehicle charging stations is growing in the Baltics, and for now at least, this expansion is most rapid in Latvia. Latvia's charging network has almost two and a half stations for every ten electric cars. Estonia has one station for every 20 cars, and Lithuania has one for every ten, Aldis Zelmenis writes in an article originally published in the Baltic Business Quarterly.
18.09.23 NEWS ... Dozens of business organizations in Estonia have issued a joint appeal expressing dissatisfaction with the government's legislative practice in recent months, where only a few business days are given to provide feedback on bills significantly impacting the business environment, impact analyses of planned changes are significantly flawed or missing altogether and the changes aren't substantiated.
18.09.23 NEWS ... Estonia's VAT rate climbing to 22 percent from 2024 and income tax to the same level from 2025 will cause a shopping boom and higher prices this year. That is why Lenno Uusküla, chief economist for Luminor, believes tax changes should be made in small incremental steps.
18.09.23 NEWS ... Electricity futures suggest that the price of electricity this fall and early winter should be just half of the level last year, Armen Kasparov, head of energy products for Eesti Energia, said.
17.09.23 NEWS ... While the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no information to suggest Russia might ban the entry of vehicles with Estonian plates as a counter to the EU's recent decision to ban entry to Russian vehicles, leasing providers advise against crossing the Russian border in a car leased in Estonia.
16.09.23 NEWS ... The government members continued their discussions of the state budget on Friday at Vihula Manor. At twelve o'clock midnight, no agreement had been reached, and the representatives of the three government parties, who had been negotiating up to that point, dispersed without having reached an agreement.
15.09.23 NEWS ... It will be now codified in law that if an employee on an online platform is not a sole proprietor, the platform will be required to pay the employee's labor taxes. According to the Ministry of Finance, platforms have complied with this requirement since last year, so the state makes this status quo official.
15.09.23 NEWS ... The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) announced yet another interest rate hike on Thursday, but also indicated not to expect any more hikes in the months ahead. While they can't make any promises, their best current info suggests that inflation has slowed enough that rising incomes will boost people's purchasing power and that pressure on loan repayments is expected to ease as well, Bank of Estonian Governor Madis Müller said Friday.