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Shadow of real estate firm over Tallinn City Government

Why sell a business for one kroon that is earning you a million kroons a year for other reason than corruption?


Speech of President Ilves at the Estonian Newspaper Association Conference

My ladies and gentlemen.

I thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my ideas about the current state of Estonian journalism and democracy with the leaders of media enterprises and other decision-makers.

As an introduction, I want to be specific – these opinions and assessments should be construed as those expressed by a media consumer, slightly more demanding than the average individual, and not so much as those of the president or a public official.



Parties pile up debts as businessmen stop donating money

Political parties represented in the parliament owe advertising agencies, printing houses and media companies millions of kroons.

Debts piled up mainly because of high campaign costs of Europarliament and local elections in 2009 and the fact that political donations have almost dried up.

Centre Party and IRL have also outstanding loans that they need to start repaying, while preparations for next year's general elections will require additional outlays.


State auditors finds widespread corruption in local municipalities

State Audit Office (SAO) says that all 15 local governments that it randomly audited had made potentially corrupt transactions with companies linked to local government members.

According to an audit made by SAO, leaders and officials of Estonian local municipalities are indifferent towards the issue of corruption, reports The Baltic Course with reference to Estonian media.

The audit indicates that in nearly a half of the 15 local municipalities that were audited, parish heads or officials had violated the ban on conducting transactions with companies that are connected to them.


BW: this year to be most important in Baltics since 1989

2010 will be the most important year since the regime change of 1989 for post-communist Central Europe and the Baltics, writes Business Week.

Economic crisis and a series of elections in Easter Europe may lead to rising nationalism and test the European Union's solidarity.


Eurobarometer: 82% of Estonians say corruption is a major problem in Estonia

The new Eurobarometre survey published in November says that 82% of respondents in Estonia said that corruption was a major problem in Estonia.

This is 4% more than the findings of a similar survey made in October 2007.

EU average was 78%, up 3% from the previous survey.

The biggest increase in corruption perception was recorded in Finland where 51% of respondents agreed it was a major problem in Finland. In 2007, the ratio had been only 26%.

The highest corruption perception was recorded in Greece (98%) and Bulgaria (97%).


Ex-minister, businessman and lawyer found guilty

Tallinn Circuit Court ruled today that ex-minister Villu Reiljan was guilty of asking a 1.5 million kroon bribe from businessman Aivo Pärn through his lawyer Tarmo Sild.

According to ERR, this means that the ruling of judge Märt Toming of Harju County Court on May 19 will stay. Under the judgement, Reiljan received a conditional sentence of 2 years 3 months in prison with 3-year probation period, Sild was ordered to pay 102,870 kroons for mediating the fine and Pärn was ordered to pay 143,440 kroons for promising to pay the bribe.


Estonia's rank in corruption perception index unchanged

Berlin-based thinktank Tranparency International on Tuesday ranked Estonia as the world's 27th least corrupt country.

The first six were New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Finland.

Estonia was ranked 27th also in last year's corruption perceptions index. Also Estonia's score was unchanged, at 6.6.

Estonia was the highest-ranked East European country.

Somalia, Afghanistan, Burma, Sudan and Iraq languish at the bottom of the ranking, in reverse order.