Economy

European Commission supports Latvia investing €250 million in airBaltic

04.07.20 ... The European Commission has approved the Latvian government's investment of €250 million into the equity of the Latvian airline airBaltic to contribute to overcome the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and resume growth.

Estonia wants to prevent the adoption of the EU's road transport reform

04.07.20 ... Transport ministers for Estonia and eight EU countries are appealing to the European Parliament over the adoption of reforms to the road transport sector which they believe undermine the competitiveness of transport companies.

Study: Loss in tax revenue due to untaxed wages totals almost €130 million

04.07.20 ... A study carried out by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research (EKI) into the prevalence of cash-in-hand wages shows that unfair tax practices likely resulted in a €127 million loss in tax revenue for the Estonian state in 2019.

Government parties still seeking compromise over migrant workers

04.07.20 ... The leaders of the coalition parties tried to find a compromise on the admission of migrant workers to Estonia on Friday night but without success. Party leaders will continue the debate over the weekend.

Study: Frequent online shoppers grew 80 percent during emergency situation

03.07.20 ... During the emergency situation, there was a surge in the number of online shoppers and the number of people who regularly shop online grew 80 percent compared with the April-May period of 2019, a study carried out by pollster Kantar Emor shows.

Ligi: Estonia to suffer from reputational damage when hiring US law firm

03.07.20 ... Former Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi (Reform Party) said hiring US lawyers means the hope of making money is small and Estonia will suffer from reputational damage.

Estonia hires US law firm to investigate money laundering

03.07.20 ... Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) has entered into an agreement with the U.S law firm Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan LLP to provide legal services to the Estonian state in international money laundering investigations. The state will pay €3 million for two years of legal aid.

Southern municipalities expect big economic boost from WRC round

03.07.20 ... Municipalities in Southern Estonia expect the WRC phase will bring a lot of benefits to the region's economy. A lot of accommodation has already fully booked for the first week of September.

Just over 25,000 travelers used Tallinn Airport in June

03.07.20 ... In June, Tallinn Airport was visited by 25,103 travelers, making up just eight percent of the total number of passengers of June of last year. Compared to May however, the airport serviced an additional 14,580 passengers.

Institute of Economic Research predicts a recession of 8 percent

03.07.20 ... The Estonian Institute of Economic Research (Eesti Konjunktuuriinstituut) predicts a recession of 8 percent for the rest of 2020, on the assumption a second wave of COVID-19 will not hit the country.

Ratas, Helme, Reinsalu still disagree on migrant workers

02.07.20 ... Migrant workers will not be allowed to stay in Estonia after July 31, Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) said on Thursday. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), however, said exceptions can be made for people working in the agricultural sector.

Entrepreneurs have received €179 million in loans, sureties from Kredex

02.07.20 ... Since the beginning of April, the Kredex foundation has concluded 67 agreements on direct loans and 120 agreements on loan guarantees within the framework of crisis measures, while Estonian companies have been financed in the total amount of €179 million.

Construction of Tartu's Kalda tee Lidl store to be finished next summer

02.07.20 ... Nordecon Betoon's construction of German discount store Lidl in Tartu will cost €3 million and will be finished in July, 2021.

Government gives go ahead to Tootsi wind farm Enefit Green transfer

02.07.20 ... The Estonian government at its sitting on Thursday authorized Finance Minister Martin Helme to approve the division of state-owned energy group Eesti Energia AS in order to transfer the Tootsi wind farm project to Enefit Green AS.

Lux Express restores bus connection between Tartu and Riga

02.07.20 ... Lux Express will restore its twice-daily connection between Tartu and Riga from July 8, the company said on Thursday.

Apartment prices not fallen compared to pre-coronavirus period

02.07.20 ... Apartment prices have not dropped significantly and are almost the same as before the coronavirus crisis. More apartments were purchased in June 2020 than June 2019 and a price drop is not expected in the future.

Viru Õlu to stop brewing in Haljala

02.07.20 ... AS Viru Õlu, the third-largest beer producer in Estonia, will stop producing brewed beers in Estonia due to years of losses.

Opposition parties plan labor crisis Riigikogu sitting

02.07.20 ... The two opposition parties in Estonia, Reform and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), plan to hold an off-schedule Riigikogu sitting to discuss ways to alleviate the labor crisis, a Reform spokesperson says. Reform has tabled a bill addressing the matter.

Direct flights relaunched between Tallinn and Ukraine despite restrictions

01.07.20 ... From July 1, Wizz Air will fly between Tallinn and Kyiv, Ukraine despite government restrictions still being in place for passengers flying from high risk countries with coronavirus. Passengers may be denied entry without a permit.

July 1 deadline for declaring gifts, donations, other income

01.07.20 ... Associations benefiting from an income tax incentive are required to file their declaration on the usage of gifts and donations in 2019 on Wednesday at the latest, according to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (Maksu ja tolliamet).

Government to decide on Tootsi wind farm handover to Enefit Green this week

01.07.20 ... The government is set to decide on the transfer of the Tootsi wind farm, in Pärnu County, owned by state energy generator Eesti Energia, to the latter's own renewables subsidiary, Enefit Green. The move is happening to shore up Enefit's valuation ahead of a planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) and is designed not to fall foul of European Commission state aid regulations.

Wage compensation for June to open for applications from today

01.07.20 ... Applications for extraordinary wage compensation for the month of June can be submitted from Wednesday, July 1.

Speed limit on residential stretch of planned Tallinn road to be 50 km/h

01.07.20 ... The speed limit on the planned Tallinn-Väike bypass will be 50 km/h in the stretch that will pass through the residential district of Rae, southeast of Tallinn, city authorities say.

Students more cautious taking out loans

01.07.20 ... Based on data from Estonian commercial banks, young people are becoming more cautious about taking out student loans, and the overall number of borrowers is declining. Banks see free higher education and improved financial literacy as being behind the decline, but borrowing may also lag due to the lack of guarantors.

State suspends second pillar pension fund payments

01.07.20 ... The state suspends its contributions to the so-called second pillar of the Estonian pension system today, Wednesday, set to last to August next year. The state says this will save €350 million over a two-year period, and was necessitated by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Berry farmers to be able to apply for wage support from July 1

30.06.20 ... From July 1, berry farmers in Estonia can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for a wage subsidy to recruit seasonal workers.

Statistics: Industrial production fell for second month in a row in May

30.06.20 ... In May 2020, production of industrial enterprises decreased by 18 percent compared with May 2019, data released by Statistics Estonia on Tuesday shows. Production decreased in all three industrial activities: manufacturing, energy production, and mining.

airBaltic restarts Tallinn-London direct flights on Saturday

30.06.20 ... Latvian carrier airBaltic will resume direct flights between Tallinn and London, starting Saturday, July 4, the company announced on Tuesday.

Merko to build NATO barracks for €6 million

30.06.20 ... UAB Merko Statyba, part of the listed Estonian construction group Merko Ehitus, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Support and Procurement Agency, entered into a contract to perform reconstruction works of a historical building as barracks in Kaunas in Lithuania.

Foreign tourism slowly picking up in Estonia

30.06.20 ... Foreign tourists have started to rediscover Estonia after the reopening of borders after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. Tourists from Latvia were first to visit Estonia but Finns have also been able to visit since June 15 with the amount of daily passengers reaching 10,000 over the holidays.

Car market recovering after pandemic

30.06.20 ... The car market in Estonia, which experienced a sharp fall during the coronavirus pandemic, is now slowly recovering and, according to banks, the number of new lease applications is now close to the level it was a year ago.

Tallink extends Helsinki-Riga, Turku-Tallinn routes to late summer

30.06.20 ... Estonian ferry line Tallink is adding more departures to its new Helsinki-Riga and Turku-Tallinn routes, the company says.

May saw an increase in shopping center visitors

30.06.20 ... In May 2020, the turnover of retail trade enterprises was €625 million, data from Statistics Estonia (Statistikaamet) shows. Compared with May 2019, turnover decreased by 1 percent at constant prices.

Elering chief lays Belarus energy impasse at feet of Lithuania

30.06.20 ... Lithuania bears most of the responsibility for the lack of consensus on several energy connection issues in the three Baltic States, management board chair of grid distributor Elering, Taavi Veskimägi, says.

More than €231 million approved for wage compensation so far

29.06.20 ... As of Sunday, June 28, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund has assigned €231.5 million in extraordinary remuneration compensation related to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis for the months of March, April and May. The fund will start accepting applications for June compensation from July 1.

Finance ministry commissions study on submission of annual reports

29.06.20 ... The Estonian Ministry of Finance has commissioned a study to find out the reasons for and effects of not submitting annual reports and submitting them later.

Banks' rules on grace periods to remain in force until end of September

29.06.20 ... The common rules for granting grace periods agreed by Estonian banks in the spring and originally intended to be valid until the end of June will remain in force until September 30.

Expert group meets to discuss economic stimulus after coronavirus

29.06.20 ... On Monday, an expert panel will meet to advise the government on stimulating the economy after coronavirus, with a focus on improving people's livelihoods and increasing the competitiveness of businesses.

Lithuanian president asks Brussel to mediate on Belarus electricity boycott

29.06.20 ... Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda is appealing to the European Commission for mediation between the Baltic States on the issue of Belarusian nuclear energy, which Vilnius wants to boycott, the English-language page of Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT reports. Failure to reach common ground on the issue led to Nausėda canceling a trip to Saaremaa to meet his Estonian and Latvian counterparts last week.

Labor shortages, heatwave could push up fruit and vegetable preserve prices

29.06.20 ... Labor shortages in the agricultural sector are causing worries for makers of Estonia's fruit and vegetable preserves and may mean higher prices in the stores.

Statistics: More men claiming parental benefit, receive more than women

29.06.20 ... The average monthly parental benefit paid to men in 2019 was a third higher than that paid to women, state agency Statistics Estonia reports. The numbers of men taking parental leave has also been rising in recent years.

Strawberry scam sees foreign produce sold as 'Estonian', at higher prices

27.06.20 ... Strawberry season in Estonia has brought with it the perennial problem of scams which involve combining non-Estonian produce with domestic strawberries, then passing everything off as the latter, whose prices are currently considerably higher.

Estonia signs EU islands' clean energy memorandum

27.06.20 ... Estonia joined 13 more European Union member states and the European Commission in signing a memorandum of understanding on the EU's clean energy for islands initiative.

Central bank: SEB fine shows banks could step up money-laundering fight

27.06.20 ... Estonian banks need to develop and improve their Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes, including by having smarter know-your-client systems, the Bank of Estonia says, following a €1 million the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) imposed on the Scandinavian-owned SEB Pank on Thursday. This would be made easier by legislative changes and more resources to state bodies fighting money laundering, the bank said.

€50 contactless card payment limit to remain in place

27.06.20 ... The €50 limit on contactless card payments put in place during the coronavirus emergency situation in Estonia will remain in place. The previous limit had been €25.

Estonia confirms no agreement on buying electricity from third countries

27.06.20 ... On Thursday, it was reported in the Estonian media the President of Lithuania had snubbed a gathering of Baltic presidents due to a disagreement about buying electricity from third countries and the Astravyets power plant in Belarus. ERR News asked the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications to explain Estonia's policy on this issue.

OECD: Estonians continue to be poor savers

26.06.20 ... While the knowledge of Estonian residents about money matters is relatively good, it is not carried over to financial behavior, whereas particular attention should be paid to saving, it appears from the International Survey of Adult Financial Literacy conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Estonia still in informal consultations with EU over Nordica state aid

26.06.20 ... Estonia is still in informal consultations with the European Commission regarding Nordica's state aid permit, said Head of the Aviation and Land Development Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs on Friday.

Ragn-Sells filed patent applications for the enhancement of oil shale ash

26.06.20 ... The environmental company Ragn-Sells AS submitted applications to the Patent Office (Patendiamet) to apply for patents for an innovative oil shale ash valuation process, which would enable the processing of ash waste generated in the majority of electricity production in Estonia into materials.

Enterprise Estonia: Estonian tourism is lucky to have responsible neighbors

26.06.20 ... Estonia is lucky to have Latvia and Finland as neighbors because the coronavirus infection rates in both countries are low and tourism has been able to pick up again, the head of tourism promotion at Enterprise Estonia has said.
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