The Riigikogu completed the first reading of the 2014 state budget bill on Oct. 23; amendment proposals could be submitted till Oct. 30, reports Public Broadcasting. Finance Minister Jurgen Ligi said that according to the bill, the state has 8 billion euros it can use next year, which is 349 million euros more than this year. Tax revenues should grow by 6.8 percent and non-tax revenues will fall by 8.2 percent, due to a fall in foreign funding. The state budget spending is planned at 8.06 billion euros, 377 million euros or 4.9 percent more than this year. Ligi said that next year’s state budget is characterized by “conservatism and sustainability.” The state budget bill needs three readings from the parliament to be approved.
According to Estonian Justice Ministry statistics, 29,724 crimes were registered in Estonia in the first nine months of the year, which was 1,284 or 4 percent less than for the same period last year, reports Postimees Online. The number of fraud cases grew the most: 34 percent in the year, to 1,250. A large part of the cases concern not delivering goods purchased over the Internet. Crimes against property fell by 9 percent. The number of thefts has fallen by 12 percent or by 1,784. The number of robberies grew by 6 percent. The number of traffic crimes fell by 2 percent. Most of them were drunken driving cases. The number of crimes against people grew by nearly 7 percent, mostly due to bodily abuse cases. The latter is largely due to the police’s changed attitude towards crimes of that type, said Justice Minister Hanno Pevkur. Forty-three cases of serious crimes against persons - murder and manslaughter - were registered, 16 less than at the same time last year.
Production of renewable energy in Estonia was smaller by a seventh in the third quarter of this year than at the same time a year ago, at 221 GWh, and renewable energy formed 11.2 percent of total electric energy consumption, reports Public Broadcasting. Electricity produced by renewable energy sources formed 8 percent of the Estonian electric energy production, said Elering. “The production of renewable energy in the first nine months of this year indicates that the renewable energy production will most likely reach the 11.3 percent target set for 2013,” said Elering board chairman Taavi Veskimagi. In the third quarter, volumes of electric energy produced by hydro-energy and biomass fell the most. The amount of electric energy produced from biogas surged by 73 percent to 8.5 GWh. Ninety-eight percent of produced renewable energy received subsidies in the third quarter; in monetary terms this was 12.3 million euros, 3 percent more than for the same period last year.