How many times have you met with private coach operators this year? They have been rather worried about free public transport taking away their business.
The Road Administration has held meetings as they have helped public transport centers take over contracts. Contracts are very long in public transport.
Commercial lines have been closed in the past. Because of lower demand and long before anyone started talking about free transport. Going forward, people would get the impression life is impossible without a personal vehicle and the number of coach passengers would continue to dwindle. It is not the stick, it’s a carrot. It could motivate people do decide against buying a car by offering a viable alternative in the coach.
Is the rest of the government still behind the project?
The item is on the government’s agenda, while the budget reflects corresponding calculations.
Is selling a part of EVR Cargo still on the agenda? The company’s railcar deal with Russia has been described as extremely risky.
The previous months have brought good news as concerns EVR Cargo. While the company will not turn a profit for the entire year, the past few months have been better.
It is important to note that EVR Cargo is not doing business with companies subject to sanctions. EVR Cargo is also looking for a financial investor for its subsidiary to additionally manage possible risks.
Where will that investor come from – Russia, Europe, somewhere else?
Talks are underway with different investors.
Where are we with the privatization of Estonian Roads (Eesti Teed)?
Estonian Roads was supposed to end intercompany transactions first thing this year because you cannot put such a company up for sale. Right now, we have agreed that we will react to good offers.
You talked about bringing cargo ships back under the Estonian flag in an interview to Postimees a year ago. What has become of that plan?
Estonia has operators who own ships that can take on over 500 tons of cargo, while none of them sails under the Estonian flag. They have found better flag countries. We are willing to offer a special tax scheme for such ships.
On the other hand, we are not just competing in terms of taxes. One must also have outstanding digital flag services. The maritime administration is working hard on that. The service should enter into legal force from January 1, 2019.
What will happen after the 2019 Riigikogu elections? Will the Center Party continue as a member of the government?