Eesti in brief - 2007-07-18

  • 2007-07-18
Estonia's richest suburb, the beachside enclave of Viimsi, is more than three times wealthier than its poorest, the island community of Piirisaar on Lake Peipsi. A recent survey of tax data highlighted the inequality between different Estonian municipalities. While Viimsi residents earned an average of 18,000 kroons (1,150 euros) per month in 2006, Piirisaar's fishing and agricultural residents earned just 4,909 kroons (314 euros) per month. Tallinn residents were close behind Viimsi, with an average gross income of 12,000 kroons per month over the same period.

Weeks after Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar advocated the construction of a rail tunnel to Helsinki, rail companies have announced they are considering a train ferry link. Executives from the national railway companies of Estonia and Finland have met three times since last fall to discuss launching a rail ferry service with the Tallink shipping group, Eesti Paevaleht reported. Further negotiations are slated for July 31. The ferry rail link is likely to be a more realistic option than the construction of a tunnel, which would require a much larger investment.

The victims of a carnival ride fire at a fun fair in May have filed a lawsuit claiming 4.8 million kroons in damages. Lawyers for the 22 victims said the majority of the amount was for "moral damage," with physical injury and loss calculated at below 10,000 kroons. More than 30 people sustained injuries when a Tivoli Tuur carousel caught fire in the town of Rakvere on May 18.

A Lithuanian man will face an Estonian court after he was caught attempting to smuggle nearly 6 kilograms of heroin across the Narva checkpoint in the luggage compartment of his Volkswagen. His drug haul 's worth an estimated 700,000 kroons (44,700 euros) 's was discovered during a routine check of the vehicle last winter. Prosecutors said the man confessed to smuggling the drugs into Estonia, but said it was for personal use. The 37-year old man, identified only as Imantas, was charged with smuggling a narcotic substance, and will face the Viru County Court at a later date.