Tallinn Airport to build new cheap flights terminal

The Estonian state-owned Tallinn Airport will next year will build an easily removable and extendable terminal for cheap flight airlines with parking space for five aircraft next to it.

Erik Sakkov, board member of Tallinn Airport, told reporters at a press conference on Thursday that the new terminal was intended for cheap flights airlines such as Ryanair, Easyjet and Norwegian that do not want to pay that much to the airport and do not need many airport services.

Sakkov said that the present airport building had been intended for the service of up to 2.5 million passengers a year and this year the airport forecasts about 2.3 million visits, of which 200,000 are transit passengers. But the visitors will not be distributed equally during the day and at certain times there is too little room in the terminal already now.

The new terminal is intended for the service of one million passengers and the space liberated from cheap flight airlines would pass into the disposition of Estonian Air and other traditional airlines, such as Lufthansa, SAS, LOT and CSA.

Source: Estonian Review


Foreclosed property of Three Sisters hotel to be auctioned

Court bailiff is selling foreclosed property of the Three Sisters hotel in Tallinn Old Town in an auction, according to an announcement published on Friday.

The property is 705 square metres in size and the starting price at the auction is 393,000 euros.

The property has a two-million-euro mortgage for Tallinn Business Bank (Tallinna Äripäev), plus a 384,000-euro mortgage for Petramark OÜ and a 217,000-euro mortgage for the state.

At the start of April, the company owed 86,315 euros in tax.

The main owner of Three Sisters is Masle Onroerend B. V. and manager Johannes Hendrikus Wientjes.

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Estonia tightens relations with Brazil

At his meeting in Brazil with the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet expressed satisfaction that Estonia and Brazil are actively communicating in several areas. “The opening of the Brazilian embassy in Tallinn has further developed closer contacts and Estonia is also making preparations for opening an embassy in Brazil in the next few years,“ said Paet.

According to Paet, Brazil is Estonia’s most important trading partner in Latin America and the total amount of exchange of goods exceeded 44 million euro in 2011. “Estonia is interested in signing a double taxation treaty with Brazil and developing even closer trade relations with Brazil,” noted Paet.

At the meeting, the foreign ministers also talked about visa free travel to Brazil for Estonian nationals. According to Foreign Minister Patriota, the Congress of Brazil will ratify in the near future the visa waiver agreement made between the European Union and Brazil, which will allow Estonian nationals to enter Brazil without a visa.

Paet and Patriota discussed the Open Governance Partnership established on Brazil’s initiative at the meeting. Paet expressed his satisfaction that currently a high-level meeting discussing the topic of open governance partnership is being held in Brazil. “ The inclusion of Estonia’s e-government experience in the implementation of the open society principles has also attracted wider international attention,” said Paet. “We consider the Open Governance Partnership a good initiative through which Estonia can introduce its experience in countries that are about to create their own e-government,” he added.

The foreign ministers also spoke at the meeting about information technology related cooperation and possibilities to jointly consult other countries in the field of IT.

Source: Estonian Review

Tax board zooms restaurants and hotels

The tax board has listed 150 catering and accommodation companies with suspicious cash transactions or that pay their employees suspiciously low wages, according to Kaido Lemendik, head of the tax board’s auditing department.

The tax office estimates that the state is losing 6.3 million euros a year from tax evasion in the catering and accommodation sector.

There are over 30,000 companies operating in the catering sector while more than 300 providers of accommodation services.

According to the tax board, cash makes up 50 percent of transactions in Tallinn restaurants and is therefore an easy possibility for companies to avoid paying taxes.

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Belgium will act as visa representative for Estonia in Nigeria and Congo

Estonia is to sign a visa representation accord with Belgium under which Belgium will represent Estonia in visa issuance in two African countries. According to the draft that came out of the Estonian Foreign Ministry, Belgium will act as visa representative for Estonia in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The agreement would be concluded for an indefinite term and take effect from 1 April .

Estonia has concluded visa representation agreements with Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland for the issuance of visas in 84 countries where Estonia does not have a representation of its own.

Source: Estonian Review

Growth slowdown should calm wage expectations

Last year, the Estonian labour market recovered from the recession. The central bank’s latest Labour Market Review reveals that employment soared in comparison with the recent past and also with other European countries. The labour participation rate posted a record and unemployment declined notably. At the same time, the share of the long-term unemployed among the unemployed increased, making up about 60% by the end of 2011.

The inhibition in economic growth at the end of 2011 may increase the share of the long-term unemployed even more in the future. Being unemployed for a long time reduces the likelihood of finding a job and increases the risk of such people losing hope of ever becoming employed again. Thus, the main task of labour market policy is to increase the competitiveness of the long-term unemployed.

Along with the recovery of employment, average wage growth accelerated in 2011. It started in the private sector, where it was also faster. Labour productivity soared when the economy started to recover, but its growth rate has been declining ever since. Productivity even dropped in the last quarter of 2011 due to the deceleration in economic growth. Should it slow in the coming quarters as well, wage growth is likely to exceed labour productivity growth again. This may pressure companies to either increase the price of their products or to reduce wage costs by decreasing the number of their employees.

In order to avoid inflationary pressures threatening the economic balance, over-optimistic wage expectations and wage claims in the currently uncertain economic environment should be avoided.

Author: Natalja Viilmann, Eesti Pank, economist

Source: Bank of Estonia

Estonian police to take into use electric cars

The Estonian police intends to take into use electric cars with the aim of economy of expenses, Interior Minister Ken-Martin Vaher told parliament on Monday.

Application of electric cars is being very seriously considered and in all likelihood it will go into operation already this year.

Vaher said that issues connected with the price of fuel concerned the Interior Ministry sphere of administration the most. “As a result we will attempt to do everything we can in order to compensate the the rise in fuel prices, in order to foresee as far possible.”

To compensate the prices rise, Vaher said, various different options were looked for, such as acquisition of new vehicles that are energy and fuel saving.

In 2011, Vaher said, the police received 151 new vehicles and there are plans to acquire 266 more cars. In case of new vehicles diesel was chosen as their fuel, which contracted fuel consumption by nearly 30 percent.

The Police and Border Guard Board, too, has started contracting the number of run-down vehicles during 2012. The financial economy as a result of the contraction, Vaher said, was nearly 180,000 euros a year.

Source: Estonian Review