Swedish Saab and French military industry MBDA have fulfilled the majority of their 56 million euro counter-purchase obligation to Estonia, reports Postimees. In 2007, the Defense Ministry bought from Saab and MBDA the short-range anti-aircraft system Mistral, which cost 56 million euros. With both companies, the counter-purchase obligation contract was concluded, i.e. companies from whom the state acquired the defense goods have to buy something from Estonia in certain spheres over five years. This does not reflect the real money that Estonian companies have received, but a sum multiplied with coefficients. When a European military industry buys goods or services in some sphere in Estonia, the sum is multiplied, for example, by five, while with certain industrial goods the coefficient is just 1.
The Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has reaffirmed that the central government will increase the share of income tax revenue allocated to local governments, reports ERR. The local governments will receive compensation after the loss of land tax income starting from 2013. When the recession started, the government cut the share of income tax from 11.93 to 11.4 percent. The draft legislation on the abolition of land tax for homeowners provides no solutions for compensating the resulted difference.
Tartu University Rector Alar Karis said that at a meeting with the Chinese embassy in Tallinn, it emerged that China’s central government had issued instructions that forbid granting visas to Estonian leaders who met the Dalai Lama when he visited Estonia in August, reports Postimees. Karis was supposed to attend a conference in Shanghai, but his visa request was turned down. Karis presented the medal of honorary doctor of Tartu University to the Dalai Lama on Aug. 18 in Tallinn. Several other Estonian officials’ Chinese visa requests have also been rejected recently.