Estonia’s government adopted the business policy implementation plan for Estonia for the year 2010, writes Aripaev.ee/LETA. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, companies will get, as a result, a total of 1.9 billion kroons (121.7 million euros) in benefits. Economy Minister Juhan Parts stated that the invigoration of the business sector is of greatest importance in fighting the unemployment rate. “All business programs that are offered by the state are opened to the market,” he said, emphasizing that Estonia will also continue with the program for technology investments where another call for applications will be opened in the beginning of the year. Main executors of the implementation plan that was drafted by the Ministry are the foundation Enterprise Estonia and KredEx. The total amount allocated for the implementation plan is over 2.4 billion kroons. In the next four years the state will finance biotechnology development and enterprises, with more than half a billion kroons.
The government adopted the local municipality investment support plan for 2009-2012 with the total figure of 443 million kroons (28.3 million euros), reports Postimees Online/LETA. The Ministry of Internal Affairs says the investments support 39 projects.
Minister of Regional Affairs Siim Kiisler said that the EU funds are of great help in improving the living environment in the regions, while the activities also contribute to invigorating the economy. The plan will grant a total of 195 million kroons to support 11 schools, 111 million kroons to 11 primary schools and 22 million kroons to 3 social welfare objects. Fourteen cultural and entertainment projects were supported by a total of 114 million kroons. From 2007 to 2013, Estonia will get a total of more than six billion kroons from the European Regional Development Fund for its regional development programs. From this amount, nearly 2.25 billion kroons have been meant for developing public services in municipalities.
A fresh audit carried out by the Estonian State Audit Office (SAO) reveals that leaders and officials of Estonian local municipalities are indifferent towards the issue of corruption, reports LETA. The audit indicates that in nearly a half of the 15 local municipalities that were audited, county heads or officials had violated the ban on conducting transactions with companies that are connected to them. In every third municipality audited, some official had violated the ban on having other businesses on the side. In every two municipalities out of three, the regulation on avoiding conflicts of interest was violated. Audit department chief auditor Airi Mikli said that although the audit covered just 15 municipalities, the problems that were found are likely to be present in other counties and towns. “It seems to me that local municipality leaders don’t sense their responsibility and the level of ethics and knowledge is too low to be able to see many situations as potentially corruptive,” said Mikli.