Press Digest, Wednesday, January 30

Eesti ajalehed.

PHOTO: Liis Treimann / Postimees


Estonian Air to present restructuring plan to the government.

State-owned airline Estonian Air has presented a plan of reorganization to the company's supervisory board that will be sent to the government this week.

"The new plan concentrates on balancing the company and servicing ten destinations with strong demand," said CEO Jan Palmer.

Estonian Air's summer flight plan includes the following destinations: Stockholm, Oslo, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kiev, Vilnius and Trondheim. Palmer added that the airline is currently in talks to service the connections of other airlines using its own aircraft. The Estonian state has not applied for a state aid permit from the European Commission yet as the company has not presented a final restructuring plan.

Ansip defeats Õhtuleht in court.

Harju County Court has satisfied Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's action against daily Õhtuleht and obligated the latter to issue a statement where the paper must admit to having published incorrect information. The article in question claims that Ansip said that the phone calls of businessmen and politicians are tapped in Estonia.

Õhtuleht said that the sentence in question was meant to be the paper's interpretation of the PM's words as opposed to a quote. Ansip said that more important than his victory in court is that people would understand the true meaning of statements following a colon in newspaper articles. The problematic article was published on May 29 last year, a week after the start of the so-called Silvergate scandal.


Elion suffers another technical failure.

Clients of Estonia's leading ISP Elion reported disturbances in the company's digital television service yesterday, complaining of choppy picture and sound. Head of media relations at Elion Karin Kahre said that the picture of some TV channels became choppy and laggy between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m

Elion issued an apology to its clients and confirmed that all services are working properly now, but gave no reason for the failure. The company also experienced technical difficulties last Tuesday when problems hit digital television, business email and web hosting services.

Elion is a part of the international Telia Sonera Group active in 19 countries. The company has 140,000 clients in Estonia and holds one third of the Estonian cable television market.

Employers and unions to discuss social tax distribution.

Representatives of the Estonian Employers Confederation and the Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions agreed on Monday to launch talks concerning the distribution of social tax. Employers now have to present a more thorough written proposal to the unions in terms of the principles of tax distribution.

Representatives of unions also stressed the importance of discussing the principles of the occupational accidents and vocational diseases insurance system. According to the employers' vision of social tax distribution, the former would be responsible for pensions while employees would pay for medical insurance, said head of the unions confederation Harri Taliga. He added that while unions are willing to negotiate, their primary condition is that tax changes cannot result in a deterioration of the situation of employees.

"We need to find ways to make sure the net income of employees does not suffer as a result," Taliga said.


Riigikogu forms VEB investigative committee.

Four parliament parties and four members of political nonprofit Democrats initiated a draft resolution yesterday to create an investigative committee to look into potential illegal transactions in connection with the VEB fund.

The main task of the committee is to determine the reasons behind the Bank of Estonia sending a letter including false information to the Russian Foreign Economy Bank (VEB) in 1995. The committee's members are Andres Anvelt from the Social Democrat Party (SDE), Väino Linde from the Reform Party, Aivar Riisalu from the Center Party, Marko Pomerants from the Pro Patria Res Publica Union (IRL) and Rainer Vakra from the Democrats. The committee must present its conclusions to the parliament by October 1.