Press Digest, Tuesday, January 29

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Photo: Toomas Huik


Organizations refuse to sign health care good will agreement.

Five medical workers' associations have refused to sign the social ministry's good will cooperation agreement, saying that the text of the agreement is vague and that the minister is reluctant to accept responsibility. Work on the agreement, aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the health care system, started during the medical workers' strike in October of last year, under the guidance of then social minister Hanno Pevkur.

The ministry invited 22 organizations that represented employers, unions, patients and state agencies. Organizations that refuse to sign the document give as the main reason the fact that the document does not aim to boost health care financing to the European average level from 2010 by the year 2020.

Minister of Social Affairs Taavi Rõivas said that the sector would need to have one and a half times as much money as it does now and that the task is therefore impossible. The minister added that participants will start working on items included in the agreement irrespective of the number of signatories.

Latvian local government head accuses Savisaar of prevarication.

Chairman of the local government council of the Aluksne region of Latvia Aivars Fomins has refuted claims presented in mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar's latest book, according to which the mayor of Aluksne asked citizens to contact their relatives in Norway and tell them to register for the population census in order to keep the Latvian population above the psychologically important 2 million people limit.

City government adviser Liina Oja said that Savisaar's information comes from the lobby of the Baltic Assembly and that the mayor sees no reason to renounce it. "Should a mistake be found in the data, we will inform the author of the letter within a month," Oja said.


Google and Facebook settling in on the online advertising market.

Estonian companies are becoming increasingly fond on international internet giants Google and Facebook when it comes to advertising as the two companies are now responsible for one fifth of the online advertising market. Local advertising providers do not perceive the companies as a threat yet but say that their popularity is only growing.

Head of marketing at Mediacom Patrik Kupenko said that while Google and Facebook are widely used as advertising channels, the giants' favorable prices mean that they make up only 15-20 percent of the advertising investments of major companies. Kupenko said that international advertising channels first and foremost benefit smaller companies that cannot afford to buy advertising in local channels.

Data from TNS Emor suggests that the internet accounted for 6.11 million euros of Estonia's 36.63 million advertising turnover last year, excluding the volumes of Google and Facebook as the internet giants do not release relevant information.

Major hospitals limit patient visits.

The North Tallinn Central Hospital (PERH) and the University of Tartu Children's Clinic ask people not to visit hospitalized patients during the high season for flu and other viruses in order to avoid infections in patients with weakened immune systems. Hospitals have made use of such limitations also in previous years.


Era of low salaries comes to an end in Finland.

A Supreme Court decision from the middle of January states that entrepreneurs active in Finland must pay their employees salaries that are in accordance with Finnish collective agreements or based on reasonable local levels, effectively ending the era of low salaries of Estonian construction workers on the other side of the gulf.

Heads of construction companies say that it is now more sensible to establish companies in Finland and hire people on location in order to avoid having to pay daily allowance for accommodation and transport expenses. In addition, the Finnish tax board has been given additional resources to carry out checks for companies paying their employees under the table. The Supreme Court ruling is final and applies in case of all EU Member States.