Eesti in brief - 2011-07-21

  • 2011-07-20

A report indicated that in 2008, the ratio of Estonia’s spending on social protection benefits in GDP was the third lowest among the EU countries, reports Postimees Online. The Report on Europe 2020’s Social Dimension stated that Estonia spent 15 percent of its GDP on social protection benefits. The EU average was nearly 25 percent in 2008, the highest in France (nearly 30 percent), Denmark and Sweden. According to the report, the share of people at-risk of poverty has grown constantly during the past few years in Estonia and has reached nearly 20 percent.

Attempts to smuggle cigarettes across the border to Estonia illegally have increased considerably this year, reports National Broadcasting citing Tax and Customs Board data. Customs management department head Urmas Jarg said that in the first six months of this year, the board has discovered around 10 million illegal cigarettes. “There are around 250-300 cases of smuggling of goods a month across all border checkpoints, There are around 10 more serious cases a day,” said Jarg. He said that illegal goods are often hidden in vehicle compartments but have also been discovered inside cakes, milk and juice packs.

Estonian blood donors are considerably younger than the European average, as 78 percent of them are younger than 40 years of age, reports National Broadcasting. In Europe, an average of 60 percent of donors are younger than 40 years, said Estonian Donors Society board member Hannes Rumm. Last year, over 17,000 patients received transfusions of different blood components in Estonian hospitals. The number of blood donors grew to 36,136 people, according to North Estonia Regional Hospital’s blood center. The Donors Society launched its summer campaign, for the fifth year, calling people who are on holidays to donate blood in July and August.