Viru hotel celebrates its 28th with new look

The Baltic Times, TALLINN
May 25, 2000
By Kairi Kurm

 Once the tallest and most modern building in Estonia, Viru Hotel, a favorite of Finnish tourists, can now be rated one of the best three-star hotels in Tallinn. On May 18 Viru Hotel celebrated its 28th anniversary and the end of reconstruction work.

The hotel spent 40 million kroons on rebuilding the foyer, the area around the hotel, the second-floor bar and the rooms on the 13th floor. Since its privatization six years ago, the hotel has made investments totaling 270 million kroons, said Yrjo Vanhanen, its director. The hotel was privatized in 1994 for 145 million kroons.

Vanhanen said the hotel was renovated from its own funds. About 90 percent of the hotel belongs to different Finnish companies.

Vanhanen said that the hotel has made an offer to the Tallinn City to buy the neighboring property, but the City has not responded. At present, the favourable land in the center of Tallinn is used as a parking lot. 

Viru Hotel has 22 floors, 11 of which have been renovated. The average price of a hotel room is about 1,000 kroons, while modern rooms cost about 1,700 kroons, said Anu Soosar, housing manager. She said that the hotel has 203 employees and 750 beds.

“We want to be the best three star hotel in Tallinn,” said Vanhanen. “The satisfaction of our clients is more important for us than the number of stars an appointed council may give us,” said Vanhanen. “We want to be like an  nternational Holiday Inn.”

Vanhanen said the market share of Viru hotel is about 20 percent with about 80 percent of its clients from Finland.

By the end of the year, the hotel expects to make a 34 million kroon profit and 180 million kroon sales. That is almost as much as the hotel made last year, said Vanhanen.

Source:  http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/1014/

Meri turns down Opmann for central bank

The Baltic Times, TALLINN
May 25, 2000
By Kairi Kurm

Estonian President Lennart Meri rejected Mart Opmann’s candidacy for president of Bank of Estonia, saying the deputy chairman of the Coalition Party should improve his proficiency in foreign language, according to news reports. The business daily Aripaev also reported that Meri advised the bank council to find a politically independent candidate for the post.

The President referred to the need to find a candidate who could efficiently represent the interests of the Bank of Estonia in the European Central Bank Council, a spokesman of the office of the President reported. With the accession of Estonia to the European Economic and Monetary Union, the head of the central bank will automatically become a member of the European Central Bank Council.

The council of the Bank of Estonia elected Opmann, 44, as governor of the central bank on May 18. Opmann was finance minister for four years from 1995 to 1999 and a member of the Coalition Party. Opmann said that he would cut ties with the party as soon as he was appointed governor of the Bank of Estonia and promised to improve his knowledge of languages.

The board of the Bank of Estonia met with Meri on May 22 to discuss the situation. The parties left the meeting without coming to an agreement over the right candidate. The president asked the council of the central bank to find a new candidate by June 19. The central bank’s supervisory council is considering an inquiry to the justice chancellor, since the decision of the president had resulted in a dispute related to political law.

A member of the supervisory body of the Bank of Estonia, Kalle Jurgenson, who preferred another candidate to Opmann, suggested the council to resign since it had not been able to find a good candidate for the post of the governor of the central bank. The president said he did not wish the council to resign.

It is the second time the central bank’s council chose a wrong candidate for the post of a new governor. The term of the former central bank president expired on April 28. The first candidate for the governor’s post, statistics professor Vello Ven-sel, resigned citing health problems some days after he was nominated for a five-year term as the governor of the Bank of Estonia by Meri.

Source: http://www.baltictimes.com/news/articles/982/
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