Study of politician’s bank account shows close ties to businesses

A study of a bank account owned by convicted former Environment Minister Villu Reiljan and his wife Anne Reiljan shows how important business is in politics in Estonia, writes Äripäev in its investigative journalism report.

Proof of this is Villu Reiljan’s 50th birthday that he celebrated in May 2003. The total amount of money paid to his special-purpose birthday bank account by well-wishers was 220,000 kroons or over 14,000 euros. Cash donations may have amounted to as similar amount.

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President: We are in a Post- WWII environment

Due to steps taken by Russia in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the world is back in the immediate post-Second World War years, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in an interview ahead of Estonian Victory Day.

Speaking on Vikerraadio, President Ilves said there were plenty of people who still look at Russia through rose-colored glasses and hope it is a bad dream that will pass.

“We are in around 1946. The understanding that used to hold true is no longer valid. We can no longer believe in these rules when one party has violated them all. The question now is what next? I say that if there is no significant withdrawal, if the situation persists, we will see a reaction from the West,” Ilves said.

According to him, a slow reaction is characteristic of democracies, as only authoritarian states can act without consulting the people.

The president said that the Ukrainian crisis has resulted in an increase in the willingness of Estonians to defend their country, alluding to a rise of volunteers for the Defense League.

Source: ERR News

Ansip replaces Kaja Kallas as Europarliament’s No. 1 candidate

The general convention of the Reform Party decided over the weekend that the party’s Europarliament candidate list will be topped by former Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

In the initial list of candidates that was submitted to the convention on February 26 the list was topped by MP Kaja Kallas, daughter of European Commissioner Siim Kallas.

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Andrus Ansip’s last day as Europe’s longest-serving PM

March 26, 2014 was the final day of Andrus Ansip (57) as Prime Minister of Estonia. He was PM just short of nine years, specifically 8 years, 11 months and two weeks, wrote Postimees.

In an interview to Postimees, Ansip said that he was very grateful to the Estonian people for their confidence in him.

“Last week Turu-uuringute AS published its survey of public confidence in institutions. It showed that the government is trusted by 46% of the population. This is very high, especially compared to the rest of Europe where governments are usually supported by around 25% of the population,” he added.

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Eiki Nestor was elected the President of the Riigikogu

At the elections of the Board of the Riigikogu, Eiki Nestor was elected the President today. 54 members of the Riigikogu voted in his favour.

45 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of Ene Ergma.

100 members of the Riigikogu took part in the elections. 1 ballot paper was invalid.

Eiki Nestor had been nominated by the Chairman of the Social Democratic Party Faction Sven Mikser. Ene Ergma had been nominated by the Chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction Kaia Iva.

Eiki Nestor thanked the members of the Riigikogu for their support.

“I wish that the Riigikogu would be close to the people. If closeness on a first name basis seems inappropriate to some, a more polite form of address could be used, but I certainly don’t want the Riigikogu to be called ‘them’,” Nestor said.

The Riigikogu will now move on to electing its Vice-Presidents.

Source: The Riigikogu Press Service via Estonian Review

Reform Party, SocDems promise to reduce labour taxes

The coalition of Reform Party and Social Democrats are promising more funding for various purposes, but do not yet want to say where the additional money will come for, in other words, from which sectors it will be taken away from, writes Postimees.

One area where the new coalition seeks to agree is to reduce labour taxes.

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Estonian president starts consultations with parliament parties

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Monday started consultations with parliament parties about forming a new government.

The president met first with representatives of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) and is to meet with a delegation of the junior partner in the present ruling coalition, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), later in the day.

The meeting with representatives of the other opposition force, the Centre Party, is set for Tuesday and politicians from the prime minister’s Reform Party are to meet with the president on Wednesday. The Centre Party said it will convene a board meeting before the talks with Ilves.

“I really hope that when representatives of the parliamentary parties arrive, they have their own propositions, their vision on how to proceed, with whom to cooperate,” Ilves said last week after Prime Minister Andrus Ansip tendered his resignation.

The president has 14 days starting from last Tuesday to nominate a prime minister candidate.

The Reform Party and SDE started talks about forming a government coalition at the end of last week.

Source: BNS / Estonian Review


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