Eesti in brief - 2009-05-07

  • 2009-05-07
The Estonian Center Party has announced that it will begin collecting signatures for a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. Center Party Vice Chairman Ain Seppik said the ruling coalition has serious contradictions, and that decision making has been bogged down. He also said the prime minister is unable to mediate decisions and cannot work with the opposition. "The rejection of the progressive income tax in the Parliament today [May 5] shows that vividly," ERR News reported Seppik as saying. "The Estonian PM spent the whole 2008 talking that if this is the crisis then he'd like to live in it and in December he stood in front of the Parliament and said that 2009's budget is balanced," Seppik said.

On April 30 the Harju County Court has arrested Andre Ernesaks on suspicion of handling and selling illegal substances and rendering healthcare services without a permit, Postimees reported. "There is a threat that Ernesaks may continue committing crimes when he's free and that's why he was arrested," Taavi Pern, the state prosecutor said. Last summer it appeared that Ernesaks had moved to Karu street and issued prescriptions of strong sedatives to drug-addicts. In March this year Ernesaks held a party in his home office, which ended with a death of a young man. Prosecution doesn't link the death to Ernesaks.

The State Unemployment Fund has said that it predicts the number of unemployed will grow to 110,000 by the end of the year. "In addition to higher number of clients we also have to consider that their portrait has changed when we are offering services and organizing our work," Kadri Luhiste, the head of Unemployment Fund's analysis department, was reported as saying by the news portal. The average education level and qualification of an unemployed has increased. About 6 percent of people registered in March as unemployed were managers, while 12 percent were specialists and two thirds were skilled workers.

Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has publicly criticized the increased tax plan out forward by Finance Minister Ivari Padar. "Tax-raising plan as it was offered, would mean very sharp tax increase and it would be dooming for the economy," Ansip wrote in an opinion article published in Aripaev. The PM said that improving governmental sector's balance solely with tax increases means that the efficiency of public sector won't be increased. The criticism came amid rumors that the ruling coalition was considering replacing Padar.