Information about border crossing to Russia

Operators of the waiting places that have been constructed at Narva and Luhamaa border crossing points are responsible for the accurate number of vehicles waiting in the queue for border crossing. When sending an SMS message with the keyword “border” to phone number 15980 you will receive the SMS messsage specifying how big is the queue at the borders. SMS message costs 3 Estonian krons / 0.19 euros.

See also information on the trucks in queue and estimated waiting time based on admission of trucks by Russian customs for the last 72h

Savisaar, the one and only

Edgar Savisaar is an intriguing person in the East European post-communist gallery if only because he has managed to stay in the political arena. Savisaar was chairman of the Popular Front in the late 80s, now he is chairman of the Centre Party, one of the largest political parties in Estonia. He has been prime minister, economics minister, interior minister and mayor of Tallinn, ERR reports.

He is one of the most hated politicians in Estonia. That politicians of other parties hate him, is no wonder. More tragic is the fact that Estonian media as a whole, or say, 90 percent of it, wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole. The majority of the intellectuals don’t love him much either.

Savisaar, like other politicians, has skeletons in his closet. He has made mistakes, he has been unethical. He is no saint. He’s a politician. However, the treatment of his mistakes and faults in the Estonian media has been immensely more passionate and choleric than in the case of any other politician. When Savisaar suffered a heart attack in 2003, several of my journalist colleagues couldn’t disguise their schadenfreude. There was open talk of finally being rid of “Old Fatty.” Nothing like that could have ever happened to anyone else involved in politics.

Savisaar has always been suspected of a connection with Moscow. In 2007, it was said that he didn’t take a decisive stand against the looting by Russian-speaking masses exactly because he was Moscow’s handler. In 2010, it is finally confirmed: he asked money from Moscow for his election campaign.

Does it change anything in the present constellation? Not a thing. His supporters are convinced that this was a provocation organized by the KAPO against Savisaar, his adversaries have only received confirmation that Savisaar is, well, Savisaar.

On the evening of December 27, President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves gave an interview to Estonian Public Broadcasting, condemning Savisaar’s actions. Since Ilves is for one camp an instrument of light, a positive force, and to the other an emissary of America, a negative force, his statement will not change anything either.

Read the whole article from Estonian Public Broadcasting: Savisaar, The One and Only

Ericsson increases production volumes

Ericsson Eesti, which launched production of 4G data communication support stations at its Tallinn facility in May, has increased production volumes and is planning growth also for next year. “Growth in the volume of the stations has been an aim and this has taken place as planned,” Veiko Sepp, board chairman of Ericsson Eesti, told BNS. “It depends first and foremost on our clients’ orders, but demand for broadband equipment is high and this allows us to look optimistically into the future. We have certainly given our contribution to the growth of Estonian export,” Sepp said. The company doesn’t wish to disclose the accurate production volume figures.
Ericsson launched production of 4G data communication network equipment in May and achieved full capacity in August. Ericsson took over the former Elcoteq facility in Tallinn in summer 2009.
Ericsson Eesti exports a large proportion of the 4G equipment, but some of it remains also on the local market.
According to Statistics Estonia information, export of goods from Estonia grew 47% in current prices compared with the same month last year. Export into Sweden grew 2.2-fold, mainly thanks to the export of electrical machines and installations.

Source: Estonian Review

Postal offices exchange euros

In the first two weeks of January, 179 post offices will exchange kroons for euros. The limit is 1,000 euros per day per customer.  As for all kroon to euro conversions, the service is free and the exchange rate is fixed.

Read more from ERR News

At least 5 pct of Estonians work in Finland

Although there are no precise records on how many Estonians have jobs in Finland, ETV reported that the number is at least 46,000, making up approximately 5 percent of the working-age population. According to a Statistics Finland estimate, around 21,000 Estonians travel back and forth to work in Finland. In addition to these, the Finnish migration authority has records on nearly 25,000 Estonians residing permanently in Finland.

In October, the business daily Äripäev estimated the number of Estonian construction workers in Finland to be around 30,000.

Read more from ERR News

Estonia’s first 3D documentary to focus on Lennart Meri

Estonia’s first 3D documentary film, “Monologues,” will be a minimalist portrait of late president Lennart Meri. Though Meri’s life is the primary focus of the work, director Arko Okk also tells the story of Meri’s compatriots, examining the man through the eyes of his contemporaries. Meri, who served as president from 1992 to 2001, was himself an accomplished  documentary film maker in the mid-20th century. He died in 2006.

“Monologues” will be released in February 2011.

Source: ERR News

Russians visit for tax-free shopping

More Russians who visit Estonia appear to be shopping in Narva for commodities that have grown expensive on their side of the border.

While the EU visa requirement for Russian citizens means the phenomenon is nowhere near that of  Finnish  “vodka tourists” who travel to Tallinn, two major supermarket chains decided to join the ranks of electronics stores and more premium merchants that offer tax-free shopping. 

On the minimum eligible purchase of 38.5 euros it is possible to get up to 4.8 euros back. The refundable percentage increases on larger purchases.  The average purchase is slightly under 100 euros, according to a manager with Rimi.  

Read more from ERR News