Spa center files legal action over COVID-19 restrictions

22.06.21 CORONAVIRUS ... A Tallinn spa has lodged a legal action over coronavirus restrictions which, it says, saw it closed for considerably longer than other tourism- and entertainment-related firms, such as restaurants and hotels, themselves the subject of restrictions during the pandemic.

Estonia in top ten in innovation across European Union

22.06.21 ECONOMY ... Estonia falls in the top ten in a European Commission ranking of member states' innovation levels.

Fuel companies say gas prices may reach all-time high in Estonia

22.06.21 ECONOMY ... Gasoline prices in Estonia have been steadily rising due to several factors, including recovery from the pandemic and world crude oil prices creeping up. Spokespersons for some of the major fuel retailers in Estonia agree that this trend looks set to continue through summer, and may result in all-time record prices at pump.

AK: Lifted restrictions not yet led to more arrivals from Russia, Finland

22.06.21 CORONAVIRUS ... Estonia opened its borders Monday to vaccinated arrivals from so-called third countries, referring primarily to non-European Union states and in practice mainly affecting Russian citizens and the Russian Federation, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported.

Statistics: Dwelling Price Index rose by 6.6 percent

22.06.21 NEWS ... In the first quarter of 2021, the Dwelling Price Index increased by 6.6 percent compared both to the fourth and the first quarter of 2020, data from Statistics Estonia shows.

UK paper: Tallinn online gaming firm one of several exploiting loopholes

21.06.21 NEWS ... A Tallinn-based firm joins several others mentioned in a recent article appearing on the website of UK paper The Sunday Times which, the paper says, use a workaround on gaming regulations in that country in their sponsorship of top-flight British professional football clubs.

Health Board: 12 new COVID-19 cases found in past 24 hours, no deaths

21.06.21 CORONAVIRUS ... Twelve new coronavirus cases have been detected in Estonia in the past twenty-four hours, the Health Board (Tervisamet) says. This is the lowest daily figure since October last year.

Young Estonians create surplus materials online marketplace

20.06.21 NEWS ... A group of young people in Estonia have created a web platform that allows industrial companies to advertise and find surplus materials.

Ratas: With today's tax base, Estonia cannot continue as a welfare state

19.06.21 NEWS ... Estonia cannot continue with its current tax base and new taxes are needed, speaker of the Riigikogu and chairman of the Center Party Jüri Ratas said on Friday. He reemphasized the point on Saturday at a party council meeting.

Cabinet leans towards keeping under-scrutiny rural body as separate entity

18.06.21 POLITICS ... A body tasked with issuing loans to rural businesses which has recently been under scrutiny over its handling of funding aimed at alleviating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic may not be merged with state agency KredEx after all.

Finnish, Estonian tax administrations start real-time data exchange

18.06.21 NEWS ... Estonia and Finland have started to exchange real-time data, a world-first for the automatic exchange of information between national tax administrations.

Another state agency under scrutiny over loan issuing may face merger

17.06.21 NEWS ... Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) says that options are being investigated for merging a body dealing with issuing rural support funds with two other state agencies. Of the three currently separate organizations, two have faced allegations of irregularities in issuing loans and other support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bill regulating Huawei tech postponed until autumn session

17.06.21 NEWS ... The adoption of a bill regulating the use of Chinese Huawei technology in Estonian network infrastructure will be postponed until the autumn, the government has decided

Wise to go public on London stock exchange

17.06.21 NEWS ... Financial technology firm Wise, formerly Transferwise, said on Thursday it expects to go public on the London stock exchange through a direct listing.

Survey: Estonian industry has recovered from crisis 'surprisingly fast'

17.06.21 NEWS ... Estonian manufacturing companies have left behind the crisis year, can see both turnover and profitability growing this year, and are planning to hire nearly 3,000 people, the results of a survey carried out by Swedbank in spring 2021 show.

News agency: Finland opening borders to work commuters next week

16.06.21 NEWS ... Finland is set to ease entry restrictions from next week, Finnish newswire STT reports. The move, which STT says the Finnish government will rule on on Thursday, will likely, if it goes ahead, allow Estonian citizens and residents who had been unable to commute between the two countries, as they had done in pre-pandemic times, to resume doing so. Additionally, all those who can prove they have completed an anti-coronavirus vaccination course will also be allowed to enter Finland freely, it is reported.

Central Bank revises 2021 growth forecast upward, to at least 5.3 percent

16.06.21 ECONOMY ... The Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) has issued its summer economic forecast, saying that economic growth for 2021 could be as high as 8.2 percent in a 'sharp growth' scenario, or stand at 5.3 percent in a more conservative estimate, adding that Estonia has demonstrated one of the most rapid bounce-backs from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic of any European country.

e-Residency scheme reports record revenue, profits for 2020

15.06.21 TECHNOLOGY ... Estonia's nation e-Residency program has reported a 2020 revenue of €19.7 million, the highest in its six-year existence, with profits also topping previous records.

Auditor: Rural agency gave out 'coronavirus' loans virtually as cash cow

15.06.21 POLITICS ... A body tasked with issuing state support to rural businesses has been issuing funds aimed at mitigating the effects of the coronavirus crisis to enterprises not obviously hit by it, the National Audit Office (Riigikontroll) says. Meanwhile rural affairs minister Urmas Kruuse (Reform) – who was not in office at the time the loans were issued – said the oversights were nothing out-of-the-ordinary as regards state bodies in general, and that it had not been stressed to his ministry or the relevant state agency that apply standardized loan processing procedures was required.

Narva power station biomass bill only benefits Eesti Energia, critics say

15.06.21 ECONOMY ... A bill which will allow the use of low-grade woody biomass in a Narva power plant has passed its first Riigikogu reading. While the bill is presented as a temporary fix, and one which will help keep electricity prices stable given its green dimension – the woody biomass fuel will not be subject to Carbon Dioxide charges – critics say that it is simply an act of favoritism for one particular firm, i.e. the state owned electricity generator, Eesti Energia, and in one location, Narva, since its provisions cannot be applied to any other situation. Additionally, after two years, the issue will need to be dealt with again.

AK: Tallinn students unveil new, driverless race-car

15.06.21 NEWS ... Tallinn students have been putting the finishing touches to a self-driving open-wheel race car, due to compete against other universities soon, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Monday night.

Tallink reopens Tallinn-Stockholm route

15.06.21 NEWS ... Tallink will reopen the Tallinn-Stockholm ferry line on July 9 almost 16 months after it closed due to coronavirus.

Eesti Energia will receive state funding for biomass energy production

12.06.21 NEWS ... The coalition has agreed on how to support Eesti Energia for the production of green energy from biomass. Next week, the Riigikogu plans to pass a bill that would enable the support of the production of 1,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity from biomass in Eesti Energia's power plants over the next two years.

Property portal: Supply of Tallinn apartments falling, rents rising

11.06.21 ECONOMY ... Apartment rental supply in Tallinn has fallen in recent weeks, following a period of sustained growth which arrived with the coronavirus pandemic, according to a major national properties portal. Partly as a result of this, rents in the capital are rising.

Survey: Most employers say plan to continue remote working post-pandemic

11.06.21 NEWS ... Remote working, far from causing issues, has increased employee satisfaction and motivation in Estonia, employers say, with 68 percent of them planning to continue with the set-up even amid falling coronavirus, and rising vaccination, rates, according to one survey.

Tax take rises nearly 15 percent in April 2021 compared with previous year

11.06.21 ECONOMY ... Tax take for April stood at €670.8 million, a 14.9 percent rise on year, the Tax and Customs Board (MTA) says, with growth mainly fueled by the low starting point, given that April 2020 was the first full month to follow the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic.

Eesti Gaas mulling over possible fall price hike

11.06.21 ECONOMY ... Estonian electricity and gas seller Eesti Gaas is considering raising gas prices in the fall to go with worldwide market hikes. The price increase is not confirmed yet and may be omitted if prices worldwide were to fall back.

AK: Milrem trials newest generation robotic armored system

11.06.21 ECONOMY ... Estonian unmanned military vehicles manufacturer Milrem Robotics has been demonstrating its latest version of the unarmed self-propelled vehicle, TheMIS, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Thursday night. While the vehicle is currently controlled remotely by a human operator, the aim is a fully autonomous version, which would work in conjunction with a drone.

Statistics: Unemployment drops to 8 percent between April and May

10.06.21 ECONOMY ... Reported unemployment in Estonia fell 0.5 percentage points between April and May, to 8 percent.

Tallinn Airport summer destinations little over half pre-pandemic figure

10.06.21 NEWS ... From this summer, direct flights from Tallinn Airport will travel to twenty-six international destinations, in twenty countries, as travel restrictions start to at least partly lift. This is still little more than half the total for summer 2019, however, when forty destinations were on the agenda.

Finance ministry sends billion-dollar recovery plan for approval

10.06.21 NEWS ... Estonia's plan for the European Union Recovery and Resilience Facility, which allocated the country almost €1 billion, has been sent to the government for approval. The plan must also be approved by the EU.

Estonia's foreign trade has returned to pre-crisis level

10.06.21 NEWS ... In the first quarter of 2021, the exports of services grew by 2 percent and imports of services by 51 percent year on year, data from Statistics Estonia and the Bank of Estonia show.

YLE: Finland may announce changes to work commuting entry regime next week

10.06.21 CORONAVIRUS ... Finland is considering streamlining its work travel entry regulations as regards European Union states, public broadcaster YLE reports, with a solution expected next week.

All parcels arriving from outside the EU must be declared from July 1

09.06.21 NEWS ... Due to a European Union tax amendment, all shipments arriving from third countries must be declared and value-added tax (VAT) must be paid on them from July 1.

EU Commissioner: Support funds not contingent on oil shale plant status

09.06.21 ECONOMY ... The fate of a planned oil shale refinery in eastern Estonia has no bearing on European Union fair transition support, which is instead primarily predicated on those countries, like Estonia, facing tough times in their transition away from the sector to greener energy, European Commissioner Kadri Simson (Center) says.

State paid €122 million in agricultural support in 2020

09.06.21 ECONOMY ... €122 million in rural support was paid by the state in 2020, Baltic News Service reports.

Central Bank: Q1 2021 current account deficit was €323 million

09.06.21 ECONOMY ... Estonia's balance of payments was in deficit by €323 million over the year to the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2021) the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) says. The deficit stood at 4.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Statistics: 9,500 job vacancies in first quarter of 2021

09.06.21 NEWS ... In the first quarter of the year, there were 9,443 job vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organizations of Estonia - a 10 percent increase compared to 2020, data from Statistics Estonia shows. More than 7,000 people left their jobs on the employer's initiative.

Statistics: Exports up 51 and imports up 54 percent year on year

09.06.21 ECONOMY ... in April, exports of goods increased by 54 percent and imports by 51 percent year on year, data from Statistics Estonia shows. The trade growth was influenced by last year's low reference base as well as by the increase in exports and imports of mineral products, electrical equipment and transport equipment.

Prime minister calls for review of 'tax dogmas'

08.06.21 NEWS ... Estonia should subject the existing tax dogmas, meaning what we tax at present and what we wish to tax and how, to a review, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said on a radio program of public broadcaster ERR on Tuesday.

Tallinn rent discount continues until August

08.06.21 NEWS ... Tallinn City Government has extended its 100 percent rental discount scheme until the end of August for outdoor terraces. The 50 percent discount for tenants operating in city-owned commercial premises will also be extended.

Finance minister: OECD meddling in tax policy bad for small countries

08.06.21 NEWS ... Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) said that OECD intervening in tax policy works to harm competition, which is especially unfortunate for small countries.

Statistics: Industrial production volumes up by 17 percent

08.06.21 NEWS ... In April 2021, the total production of industrial enterprises increased by 17 percent year on year, data from Statistics Estonia shows. Production increased by 17 percent in the energy sector and by 18 percent in manufacturing, but decreased by 1 percent in mining.

AK: Finland preparing to open borders for seaborne commuters

08.06.21 CORONAVIRUS ... Finland is mulling opening up its borders to arrivals by sea, a senior official at Estonia's foreign ministry says. Finland has faced widespread condemnation in the Estonian media and elsewhere after sticking to a regime which prevents freedom of movement and counter to European Commission rules, a move which has hit Estonia particularly hard given the large numbers of its citizens and residents who travel to Finland for work.

Statistics: Increase in foreign and domestic tourists in April

08.06.21 NEWS ... In April, Estonian accommodation establishments served 59,000 tourists, which is over three times more than in April last year, data from Statistics Estonia shows. The numbers of foreign and domestic tourists both increased.

Committee approves bill to terminate tax exemption for home loan interest

07.06.21 NEWS ... The parliament's finance committee decided on Monday to pass on to the plenary a bill that would abolish the income tax exemption for home loan interests in Estonia from next year.

Estonia to apply for exemption to establish income tax minimum

07.06.21 NEWS ... G7 leaders agreed on Saturday to set a global corporate tax rate of 15 percent, and if the agreement is signed at the G20 meeting in July, Estonia must apply for an exemption that would allow corporate tax collection to be postponed for several years.

Eesti Energia claims Elering biased in wind farm vision

07.06.21 ECONOMY ... State-owned energy group Eesti Energia is claiming that grid distributor Elering has not taken the former's Gulf of Riga maritime wind farm project into consideration in their Baltic Sea energy network vision, which raises questions about the distributor's impartiality and equal treatment of parties involved.

Large number of people made unemployed during crisis still without work

07.06.21 NEWS ... Of the 6,300 people who worked in accommodation and catering in Estonia in February 2020 and lost their job during the crisis months, slightly over 40 percent were still unemployed at the end of April this year, data from Statistics Estonia shows.

Rising fuel prices, electricity increased Consumer Price Index in May

07.06.21 NEWS ... In May 2021, the consumer price index increased by 0.9 percent compared to April 2021 and by 3.6 percent compared to May 2020. Rising prices of motor fuel and electricity were behind the increase.
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