The private and public sector have been announcing wage cuts for many months and this is reflected in the first fall in average monthly wages in Estonia since 1993. According to Statistics Estonia, in the first quarter of 2009, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 12,147 kroons (778 euros) and the hourly gross wages and salaries were 76.53 kroons. Compared to the first quarter of the previous year, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were down by 1.5 percent.
In another e 's initiative, two cafe companies in Tallinn have commenced a free Wifi dating service. Home Art Cafe at the Rotermanni Centre and the Reval Cafe group, with four establishments across the city are providing the new service. The customers are offered free Wifi access, but have to sign a contract that frees the cafe's owner from any liability. After that they get access to a special dating service between the customers in the cafe. After that, the rest is up to them.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) was in Tallinn this week to finalize an 8.6 billion kroon (550 million euro) loan to the Estonian government. The money will be used to add to the government's resources in order to obtain larger EU funding. Such funding, which is for numerous projects throughout Estonia, requires a financial commitment from the government. The EIB explained to The Baltic Times that it offers very competitive lending terms due to its affiliation with the EU and ability to borrow from capital markets at favorable interest rates.
Students have threatened to take legal action against the government over recent benefit cuts. Speaking to Postimees, Joonas PÃ¤renson, chairman of the Estonian Association of Student Organizations said: "Estonia needs to take some urgent decisions to improve the economic situation, but it cannot be made at the expense of students." The government decided last week to stop compensating student loans for both new borrowers and existing loans. Students of the law faculty of the Tartu University have already threatened to go to court to protect their interests.
According to the Bank of Estonia, the total value of loans overdue by 60 days or more increased in April to 5.2 percent of the total loan value. This includes all sectors and shows a declining trend as in April the figure stood at 4.5 percent. The corporate sector continues to perform badly with household overdue payments reasonably stable. The bank commented that considering the recent deterioration in the major economic indicators, the April increase in overdue loans was a logical outcome.