Avies starts flying between Stockholm, Jonkoping on weekdays

The Estonian airline Avies will start flying between Stockholm and the city of Jonkoping in southern Sweden on weekdays, as well as from Tallinn to Jonkoping on Sundays and from Jonkoping to Tallinn on Fridays.

There will be two daily flights on the Stockholm-Jonkoping route, the company said. The Avies aircraft will be based in Jonkoping and the Stockholm flights will take place from the Bromma airport.

The Swedish route will be served by a Jetstream 32 of Avies which underwent thorough maintenance before the launch of the route. Avies operates the Swedish flights for the regional operator Flyglinjen, which arranges ticket sales.

Avies manager Allan Soll said the carrier plans to announce further Scandinavian regular flights in coming weeks. The airline also flies between Tallinn and the regional capital Kärdla in Estonia.

Source: Estonian Review

Mayor of Riga collapses during Riga Marathon

Riga city mayor Nils Usakovs has been hospitalized after taking part in the Nordea city marathon over the weekend. Usakovs had been attempting to take part in the half marathon event when he was forced to withdraw and sent to the hospital with signs of hyperthermia.  As of Monday afternoon he was still unconscious but in stable condition.

Read more from The Baltic Times

Producer price indices increased in April

According to Statistics Estonia, in April 2011 the producer price index of industrial output changed by 0.9% compared to March and by 5.2% compared to April of the previous year.

 

In April compared to the previous month, the producer price index was more than average influenced by the increase in prices in the production of food and metal products and by the decrease in the prices of electrical apparatus. Compared to April 2010, the index was more than average influenced by the increase in prices in the production of food and metal products.

Change in the producer price index of industrial output by economic activity, April 2011
Economic activity March 2011 –
April 2011, %
April 2010 –
April 2011, %
TOTAL 0.9 5.2
Energy supply 0.3 1.1
Mining -0.9 -0.7
Manufacturing 1.1 5.9

In April 2011 the export price index increased by 0.2% compared to March 2011 and by 10.5% compared to April of the previous year.

In April compared to the previous month, the export price index was more than average influenced by the increase in the prices of metals, chemical products and mineral fuels and by the decrease in the prices of electrical apparatus and peat products.

In April 2011 the import price index increased by 1.1% compared to March 2011 and by 12.4% compared to April of the previous year.

In April compared to the previous month, the import price index was more than average influenced by the increase in the prices of mineral fuels, chemical products, metals and wood products.

Source: Statistics Estonia

 

US Secret Service opens office in Tallinn

The U.S. Secret Service on Friday officially opened its office in the Estonian capital Tallinn. Ambassador Michael C. Polt said at the opening that the office, which is the first in the Baltic region, will strengthen the international network of the Secret Service. Although the name of the agency is Secret Service it is not secret, he quipped.

The Tallinn office of the Secret Service will engage in co-operation to combat cyber crime, but this will not be its only task, the ambassador said.

Estonia’s Justice Minister Kristen Michal said the co-operation between U.S. and Estonian law enforcement agencies will become closer after the opening of the office. Both countries have great common interest in combating cyber crime, he noted.

Visiting Secret Service Assistant Director A.T. Smith said the opening of the office does not bring changes to Estonian and U.S. authorities’ co-operation to fight cyber crime. The Secret Service has worked together with the Estonian authorities before but now “we’re only a phone call away,” he pointed out.

Smith acknowledged that one of the reasons why Estonia was chosen for the location of the office is that criminals from this Baltic state are connected with a number of solved international cyber crimes and bank frauds. As a second reason, he named Estonia’s information technology-related progress, describing the country as the Baltic Silicon Valley.

The Secret Service will work closely together with its Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian law enforcement colleagues in criminal investigation.

The U.S. embassy earlier said that Estonia was selected as the site for the new Secret Service office “due to both the investigative nexus it provides in combating cyber and financial crimes, as well as the opportunity it provides the agency in the fulfilment of its protective duties within the region.”

The Secret Service is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the United States, established as early as 1865. It is best known as the agency responsible for protecting the president of the United States. At the same time it has other duties, such as combating crime directed against the financial infrastructure of the United States, including counterfeiting of banknotes and treasury checks, and cyber crime.

Source: Estonian Review

New video of abducted Estonians

Late last night a new video clip containing an appeal from the seven Estonian citizens abducted in Lebanon was received. It was most likely filmed on 16 May. The video clip reveals that all the Estonians are alive and well as they make an appeal intended to put pressure on the Estonian government. No concrete demands or requirements for resolving the situation are made in the video. The Estonian government continues to work together with the Lebanese authorities and its other partners to free the abducted Estonian citizens.

The video can be viewed at the following link: http://www.4shared.com/video/PHBLlik6/0000.html

Source: Estonian Review

Estonia 33rd out of 59 by competitiveness

Estonia placed 33rd by competitiveness in 2011, an improvement by one place as compared to last year, according to Switzerland-based IMD that published its traditional ranking of countries according to their competitiveness.

Lithuania was ranked 45th, while Latvia was not included in the list.

Estonia was on the 53rd position in regard to the state of economy (climbed 1 position in a year), on the 20th position in regard to efficiency of government (+4), 32nd position in regard to business effectiveness (+4) and 23rd position in regard to infrastructure level (-6). 

Economist Andres Arrak said in comment that Estonia’s score was so lack because of poor efficiency of economy and weak infrastructure.

Read more from BBN

Ministry cuts university curriculum

Next year, the Ministry of Education is cutting state-commissioned university programs that fail to meet quality standards.

For example, students will no longer be able to study painting at the University of Tartu; Tallinn University will likely have to stop teaching theoretical physics; and the Võru County Vocational Training Center must consider why it offers degrees in the first place, wrote Postimees.

“All schools must determine what they are best at, and if that is clear, they must ask [in which subject] they could be the best in the world,” said Minister of Education Jaak Aaviksoo. “The desire just to teach something is no longer enough,” he added.

During the evaluation process, the Maritime Academy turned out to be one of the most problematic universities, where a total of three specialty programs will be shut down, said Mart Laidmets, head of the Higher Education Department at the ministry.

The total amount of the cutbacks will be determined by next week.

Source: ERR News

Baltic states on top of EU by new car registrations

In April, new car registrations increased 100.3% a year in Lithuania, 92.3% in Estonia and 96.3% in Latvia, the three biggest increases in EU, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association’s latest report.

In Europe, Iceland recorded the steepest increase in new car registrations in April at 270.9%,

The report covers all European Union member states except Cyprus and Malta, as well as members of the European Free Trade Association – Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.  

In April, 1,164 new cars were registered in Lithuania, 1,356 in Estonia and 624 in Latvia.

Source: BBN

Estonia’s euro entry raised prices by 0.2-0.3

According to Statistics Estonia, today, on 18 May, Eurostat released a report which assesses the impact of euro changeover on the Estonian Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices.

This is a report which Eurostat compiles on all countries that have joined the Euro Area right after their accession. Estonia joined the Euro Area on 1 January 2011.

According to Eurostat’s provisional assessment, the impact of euro changeover on the Estonian Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices remained between 0.2 and 0.3 percentage points in the period from December 2010 to March 2011. The estimate is in line with the experience of the first-wave changeover in 2002 as well as with the experience of Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia.

Eurostat considers that the methodology used by Statistics Estonia for producing the index conforms to the requirements set for the Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices and, that the reliability of the index is adequate.

At the end of the report, Eurostat states that in practice it is not possible to estimate precisely what the change of the Estonian Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices would have been if the euro changeover had not taken place. The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices is influenced by a lot of factors which may amplify or cancel each other out or ovelap with potential changeover effects.

The report is available on the website of Eurostat at http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/hicp/publications/technical_and_thematic_news_releases.

Source: Statistics Estonia

Over 72 000 people participated at the Museum Night

The Museum Night held last Saturday drew 72 012 visitors to the 139 museums and monuments in Estonia. “Museums were open in all the counties and there were visitors in all the museums,” one of the co-ordinators of the Museum Night, Epp Alatalu, told BNS.

“In small museums, such as the Jüri-Mardi Farm Museum in Järva County, visitors from farther away arrived before the museum night even started in order to be able to visit more museums,” Alatalu said.
The highest visitor numbers were in big museums such as KUMU(art), Maarjamäe Hall (history), and Fat Margaret (maritime).

This year the museums were open one hour later, until 11 p.m. Despite rain and the Eurovision song contest taking place on the same evening, the number of museum visitors was higher than expected.

Source: Estonian Review

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