Statement of Estonian Parliament about Georgia

According to the press release of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Riigikogu condemns the military aggression of the Russian Federation against the Republic and expresses deep-felt concerns about its eventual outcome.

of Georgia

The Riigikogu greets and supports the appeal of the international community and democracies to stop military activities immediately and to ensure the territorial integrity of the state of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.

The Riigikogu stresses that peace can be restored in Georgia and the security of the neighbours of the Russian Federation can be guaranteed only if the global democratic community applies unified, forceful and consistent pressure to achieve this end. The aggressor must realise that an attack against a sovereign state leads to international sanctions. The Russian Federation must return to principles of cooperation and international law.

The Riigikogu points out that when the Russian Federation justifies the military aggression with the need to protect Russian citizens, it is using arguments identical to those used by the National Socialist Germany when it attacked its neighbours Czechoslovakia and Poland and crushed their independence. The return to such argumentation causes serious anxiety about world peace.

The Riigikogu calls on the United Nations, European Union, European Parliament, NATO, OSCE, Council of Europe, all democratic states and particularly their parliaments to assist Georgia in every way possible, in order to put an immediate end to the military aggression by the Russian Federation and to compensate for the moral and material damage caused.

The Riigikogu proposes to the Government of the Republic to allocate humanitarian aid to Georgia in order to repair war damages across the country.

The Riigikogu supports the application of new peacekeeping formats in Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia and calls on the European Union to participate in these. In case Russia continues the aggression, the Riigikogu considers it impossible to continue the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement negotiations between the European Union and Russia.

The Riigikogu supports the accelerated accession of Georgia to NATO.

 

Source: Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Estonian banks capital adequacy up to 18.2 % in June

The Bank of Estonia said the average capital adequacy of commercial banks stood at the highest level this year, or 18.2 percent.
As of the end of May the figure was 17.2 percent and at the end of April 6.8 percent.
The banks’ gross equity totalled 34.9 million kroons as of the end of the month, 3,72 billion kroons less than at the end of May.
The assets of Estonia’s commercial banks declined by 3.38 billion kroons to 334.22 billion kroons in June against May.

Source: Estonian review

Special flight by Estonian Air evacuates people and transports aid to Georgia

According to the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Estonian national airline Estonian Air has sent a special flight to Yerevan to transport 83 people from Georgia to the Estonian capital Tallinn on Tuesday 12 August. In addition to Estonians there are also Finnish, Danish, US, UK, Ukrainian and Russian citizens on board. The plane will arrive in Estonia this afternoon.

The plane carries 5 tons of humanitarian aid to the region to help relieve the worsening humanitarian situation in Georgia – primarily basic medical necessities and equipment for rescuing people.

Estonia also sent two internet security specialists from CERT Estonia to Tbilisi.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Estonian cheese offered in Olympic Games

The Beijing Olympic Games’ basic menu includes also Forte cheese, which is made in Estonia in Võru cheese factory that belongs to Finnish dairy industry Valio.

Valio Estonia marketing manager Lauri Betlem told aripaev.ee that the Estonian cheese was chosen due to the tight collaboration between Valio and Yili, Chinese largest dairy industry. Valio Finland is marketing its milk powder and other product to China with the help of Yili for a longer period of time.

Betlem added that choosing their cheese is mainly a great acknowledgment but they also hope to find through that opportunity new partners and target groups.

Valio Estonia is the largest cheese exporter in Estonia by taking the cheese to Russia, Italy, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. Now also to Olympic Games in China.

Source: BBN

Websites claim massive debts from real estate agents

In recent months Estonia’s leading real estate online portals have closed hundreds of accounts of real estate agents because of debts.

Tarvo Teslon, CEO of Diginet that runs the popular kv.ee website, told Eesti Päevaleht that the company has closed about 40 accounts in the last two months. “The business of real estate agents has dried up and they cannot pay monthly subscriptions so we have no other option,“ said Teslon who adds that this is about 10 percent of all accounts used by real estate agents to advertise their property in kv.ee.

Teslon said that typically real estate companies owe between a few thousand to EEK 40,000. “We will close the account when the debt amounts to EEK 15,000,” he said.

According to Teslon, in most cases the accounts belonged to one-man companies, but the list of debtors includes some large real estate companies with offices in several Estonian towns.

Teslon said that the situation became notably tougher at the beginning of the year and continues to deteriorate.

Karin Noppel, marketing manager of City24, agrees. “The work of real estate brokers is very tough right now and this can be seen in our financial results,” she said, but refused to say how much the company owes. “We hope that this is not a long-term problem.”

Read more: BBN

Finnish writer: Estonia to lose independence in 10 years

Finnish writer Johan Bäckman forecasts that Estonia has only ten years of independence left.

Postimees writes that Bäckman who is an expert of criminology and law and is currently looking for a publisher for his new book “Bronze Soldier” says that Estonia is about to collapse.

“The book is about the April riots, the situation around the Bronze Soldier and the “classified” history of Estonia and Finland. Estonia is going towards a precipice and has no more than ten years as an independent country,” writes Bäckman.

In the opinion of the expert, the removal of the Bronze Soldier monument was the final date in the history of Estonia.

Source: BBN

Consumer price index increased in July

According to Statistics Estonia, in July 2008 the percentage change of the consumer price index was 11.1% compared to July of the previous year.

This year compared to the respective month of the previous year, the change of consumer price index has stayed around 11%, being the lowest in March (10.9%) and the highest in April and June (11.4%).

In July 2008 compared to July of the previous year, the prices of goods changed by 10.5%, of which the prices of food by 15.9% and the prices of manufactured goods by 6.2%. The prices of services increased 12.2% over the year. Regulated prices of goods and services changed by 22.8% and non-regulated prices by 7.8% over the year. The index was mainly influenced by the price increase of food, higher prices of motor fuel accompanied by the increase in the prices of transport services, and by the increase in the expenditures on housing. Annual price increase of food accounted for nearly a third, transport — slightly over a fifth, and housing — nearly a fifth of the total percentage change. The price increase of heat energy and electricity had the greatest impact on the increase of expenditures on housing, even after the value added tax rates of heating fuel, which increased in July of the previous year, became equivalent in comparable months.

On average, the prices of goods and services in July were 0.7% higher than in June.

The consumer price index was mainly influenced by the increase in the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products proceeding from the change in the rates of excise duties; by the increase of expenditures on housing, of which the increased prices of electricity gave more than a half; by lower prices of vegetables and by special sales of clothing and footwear.

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, July 2008

Commodity group July 2007 –
July 2008, %
June 2008 –
July 2008, %
TOTAL 11.1 0.7
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 16.8 0.0
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 13.3 5.0
Clothing and footwear 1.9 -2.9
Housing 14.1 1.5
Household goods 4.3 0.5
Health 8.6 1.2
Transport 15.0 0.7
Communications -0.8 0.0
Recreation and culture 2.9 0.6
Education 8.6 0.0
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 15.3 0.8
Miscellaneous goods and services 8.2 0.6
Source: Statistics Estonia

Authorities: also large companies in Estonia use invoicing scams

Authorities claim that economic depression has forced many large companies to use so-called invoicing scams.

Rain Kuus, head of the investigation department of the Estonian Tax Board MTA, told Eesti Päevaleht writes that most large companies that are using invoicing scams have good lawyers and well-honed mechanisms where they order bogus invoices, pay them and are paid cash in return which they can use for paying wages without social tax.

Kuus says that in one case a lawyer representing a company accused of using bogus invoicing claimed that since the scam damaged only the state, there is no real victim and the whole case should be annulled.

In the first half MTA’s investigating department sent to the prosecutors 18 criminal cases involving taxes with a total estimated damage of EEK 67 million kroons. It has also seized 19 million kroons in assets from the suspects.

Last year the department submitted to the prosecutors 59 criminal cases with tax-related crime and a total damage of 248 million for the state. The biggest damage was done by one company in Tartu that has swindled 22 million kroons in this way.

A representative of MTA refused to say which large companies are using bogus invoicing, but said that some of them have set up their own bogus invoice companies.

A few years ago the authorities closed a company that had been issuing bogus invoices and had about 450 business customers, mostly forestry companies, construction companies, metal traders, real estate agencies and fuel retailers.

Source: BBN