Changes made in Schengen visa issues

In accordance with the implementation of the Schengen acquis in the consular representations of Estonia, starting on 1 March 2009 the process of applying for and issuing Schengen visas for minors that travel with a parent and are also included in the parent’s travel document will change. Beginning on 1 March, consular representations will beginning following the principle that a visa payment must be made for each separate individual’s visa.
The current system has a visa sticker carrying the appropriate mark and indicating the number of minors being issued as a visa for children under the age of 15 that are included in their parent’s passport. The state fee is paid for the processing of only one visa application.
Beginning on 1 March, a separate visa application must be filled out and a state fee must be paid for every minor included in the parent’s passport. The child will be issued his or her own visa sticker, which will be placed in the parent’s passport.
The state fee for a Schengen visa is 60 euros. Citizens of countries that are issued European Union visas on the basis of a visa facilitation agreement must pay 35 euros for a visa.

Source: Estonian Review

Medieval house ruins found in excavations

Archeologists have found what they believe are the remains of the basement of a medieval house outside the city walls during excavations in the central Vabaduse Square in Tallinn, the daily Eesti Paevaleht reported.
Archeologist Villu Kadakas, who supervises the dig, said that nothing else but the basement had survived of the house, but it was presumably a multi-storied wooden dwelling. “The basement under the dwelling was quite typical, used instead of the modern refrigerator,” Kadakas said.
The archeologist said other such houses could be unearthed from Vabaduse Square as the excavations had reached a zone that could have been densely populated.
Kadakas said that the house stood in what was formerly Pärnu Maantee, which in earlier times ran along the present Roosikrantsi Street. Pärnu Maantee was one of the main highways leading to the city, and the city gates were quite close so it was logical for the place to be settled.
“Rather than wealthier folk, it was probably where poorer people lived,” Kadakas said.
Although the find was not very unexpected, Kadakas said that it was unique because no earlier houses of Tallinn’s suburbs had been unearthed so far and so there was not much information about them.
The other stories of the building will apparently not be found as they were demolished either during the construction of the bastion in the 17th century, or, if the buildings were put up in the medieval period, they must have been dismantled during the Livonian War in the 16th century.
Kadakas added that some samples had been taken in order to establish the age of the building, but they need not give an accurate dating.

Source: Estonian Review

Estravel posts 64 mEUR turnover in 2008

The 2008 turnover of the Estonian travel bureau Estravel was one billion kroons (EUR 64 mln) according to non-audited figures, 0.5% higher than the year before.
Of the company’s revenue, sale of air tickets accounted for 582 million kroons, with the figures increasing by 3.5% against the previous year.
The sale of package tours increased by 8.6% on year, totaling 143 million kroons, and sale of rail tickets by 10.3% to nine million kroons. Sale of hotel accommodations, however, fell by 11.1% to 154 million kroons.
The company posted 20.7 million kroons profit last year.
Estravel CEO Anne Samlik said tough competition between tour organisers made prices attractive last year, as a result of which the sale of holiday trips showed strong growth despite the difficult economic situation.
Contraction in corporate clients’ purchase volume was due to the economy of expenses in companies. “At the same time, there are companies that spent more than before on travelling, in connection with entry into new markets and establishment of business contacts there.”
This year will be generally complicated on the tourism market both in Estonia and in the rest of the world, and small tourism companies in particular will have to thoroughly reorganise their operations in order to stay afloat.
The main owner of Estravel is Suomen Matkatoimisto Oy, which in turn belongs 100% to Finnair.

Source: Estonian Review

Estonian Air to open Pärnu-Stockholm route in spring

In co-operation with the Sanatorium Tervis and the Spa and Conference Hotel Strand, Estonian Air will open a seasonal air route between Pärnu and Stockholm in the spring.
The flights will take place twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays and will continue until 23 August, the company said.
“Opening opportunities for air travel from different Estonian airfields is part of the Estonian Air strategy. The opening of the Pärnu-Stockholm route will make travelling between Scandinavia and Estonia significantly more convenient,” said Andrus Aljas, president and board chairman of Estonian Air.
The new route will be served by 33-seater Saab 340 aircraft that have one service class. A light meal of a sandwich and a drink will be offered on board.
All Saab 340 flights are carried out by Estonian Air Regional, a subsidiary of Estonian Air.

Source: Estonian Review

Saku was beer market leader in 2008

Saku Õlletehas retained its lead on the Estonian beer market in 2008, a survey by AC Nielsen shows.
Saku’s share of the total turnover of the Estonian beer market during the year was 45.7%, while A. Le Coq had a market share of 38.1%, Saku Õlletehas said on Tuesday.
The CEO of Saku Õlletehas, Veli Pekka Tennila, said the Estonian beer market’s leading brands are Saku Originaal, Rock and A.Le Coq Premium.
In the quality beers segment, Saku’s market share exceeded 50%, Tennila said.
The manager of rival beverage house A. Le Coq recently claimed that in the final months of last year A. Le Coq emerged as the market leader in beer sales in Estonia by a narrow margin.
Saku Õlletehas also announced on Tuesday that according to the AC Nielsen survey, it has for the first time emerged as the market leader in the table water segment with a market share of 20%.

Source: Estonian Review

Freight handling climbs 2.5 percent on year

The volume of freight handled at ports of the Estonian state-owned company Port of Tallinn in January was 2.48 million tons, marking a 2.5% improvement on the same month a year ago.
The handling of liquid cargoes, the biggest group of commodities passing through the ports, grew by 16.6% on year to 2.02 million tons.
The handling of ro-ro (roll-on/roll-off) cargo dropped by 33.2% to 192 300 tons.
Bulk cargoes and mixed cargoes declined by 34.4% to 167 400 tons and by 52.4% to 17 000 tons respectively. The shipment of coal doubled in comparison with January 2008.
Container shipments through the ports dropped by 11.2% to 11 852 containers.
The number of passengers served during the first month of the year was up by 23.2% at 442 900, the highest figure for January ever. Passengers travelling between Tallinn and Helsinki numbered 364 200.

Source: Estonian Review

Price of clothes and footwear dropped the most

According to Statistics Estonia, the percentage change of the consumer price index in January 2009 compared to January of the previous year was 4.1% and compared to December was -0.6%.

In January 2009 compared to January of the previous year, the prices of goods had changed by 1.0%, of which the prices of food products by 7.5% and the prices of manufactured goods by -4.2%. At the same time the prices of services have increased by 9.8%. Regulated prices of goods and services changed by 8.8% and non-regulated prices by 2.6%.

In January 2009 compared to January of the previous year, the consumer price index was mainly influenced by the expenditures on housing, which accounted for about a half of the overall change of the index and of which the price increase of heat energy gave over two thirds. The index was also greatly influenced by alcoholic beverages and tobacco (the price increase together 21.4%) and by motor fuel, the prices of which were about a quarter lower in January 2009 compared to the same month a year ago.

The change of the consumer price index compared to the same month of the previous year was less than 4% last in October and September of 2006.

In January compared to the previous month, the consumer price index was mainly influenced by the decrease in the prices of motor fuel, by sales of clothing and footwear, by price decrease of heat energy, as well as by price increase of miscellaneous services related to housing.

The weights system of the consumer price index and the base prices used in calculations are updated every year.

In 2009 the base prices used for the calculation of the consumer price index are the December prices of the year 2008. Calculations are made on the base “December 2008 = 100″.

The weights system corresponds to the average expenditure structure of the population in the year 2008.

To ensure the comparison with the previous periods, the consumer price index is continued to be published on the base 1997 = 100. The linking month is December 2008.

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, January 2009 compared to December 2008 (December 2008 =100)

Commodity group Weight, ‰ December 2008 –
January 2009, %
TOTAL 1 000.0 -0.6
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 229.3 0.0
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 75.3 0.2
Clothing and footwear 58.9 -5.0
Housing 158.0 0.4
Household goods 46.5 0.0
Health 38.1 2.3
Transport 147.7 -4.1
Communications 47.2 -0.1
Recreation and culture 81.5 -1.1
Education 18.1 0.7
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 45.1 0.0
Miscellaneous goods and services 54.3 3.7

Change of the consumer price index by commodity groups, January 2009 compared to January 2008

Commodity group January 2008 –
January 2009, %
Food and non-alcoholic beverages 2.8
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco 21.4
Clothing and footwear 0.5
Housing 13.3
Household goods 3.9
Health 7.9
Transport -9.8
Communications -0.8
Recreation and culture 0.6
Education 7.2
Hotels, cafés and restaurants 7.8
Miscellaneous goods and services 8.3

Source: Statistics Estonia

Savisaar: the government could buy Hansapank

Mayor of Tallinn and a Centre Party member Edgar Savisaar thinks that the government could buy the former Hansapank and change it into a city- or government partnership bank, reports.

Savisaar brainstormed in TV-show “Terevisioon“ that the government of Estonia could buy Hansapank and change it into a city- or government partnership bank.

„Banking is the blood-flow of the economy and if we could get it going then the entrepreneurship would also get a kick-start,“ said Savisaar.

He also supported the Estonian Development Fund’s chairman Indrek Neivelt’s idea to reinstate income tax for businesses.

„ We should have increased the income tax for the individual back to 26%. We could have gained over three billion kroons, or we should have changed to gradual income tax. Secondly, we should have reinforced the income tax for businesses,“ said Savisaar.

Source: BBN