Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar met with his Helsinki counterpart Jussi Pajunen during his visit to Finland on April 13, reports Postimees Online. The two mayors made an overview of current partnership projects and planned further activities, said the city’s press service, Raepress. Public transport in the two cities was discussed in greater detail. Savisaar introduced the new contact-less card system, to be launched in the Tallinn public transport this September. The system has been planned so that people could also use the contact-less transport cards of Helsinki, Riga and St Petersburg with it. The mayor of Tallinn also introduced a plan for free public transport that will be implemented next year. “This autumn an international conference will take place in Tallinn for cities that already use free public transport and for those interested in the move; Helsinki will certainly be welcome to it,” said Savisaar.
Estonian Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher said on April 17 in parliament that the Police and Border Guard Board is considering using electric cars in order to cut fuel costs, reports National Broadcasting. MP Helmen Kutt asked in parliament’s inquiries hour if the police have considered using electric cars to organize traffic in towns. “This is the right remark since the possible use of electric cars by the police is today being very seriously considered and will most likely be carried out already this year,” said Vaher. According to Delfi, Vaher also said that the police management forecast a possible 13 percent increase in fuel prices when planning its budget. Vaher said that the police and border guard budget from the state grew by 5.2 percent, or by 7 million euros, in 2012. Fuel use restrictions have been enforced in police prefectures, but all calls that need to be responded to will be responded to, he said. Vaher added that last year the police acquired 151 new vehicles and this year will acquire 266. Selling old cars will enable savings of 180,000 euros a year.
Baltic States’ parliament committees dealing with rural development have signed a joint declaration in Riigikogu on April 12 expressing their deep dissatisfaction over inequality in agricultural subsidies paid in different EU member states, reports National Broadcasting. The parliamentary committees support the direction the European Commission has taken to harmonize the subsidy levels, but consider the time-frame for such a move unacceptable and demand implementation of new principles for paying direct subsidies in the Baltic States from the year after the next already. “We were making war plans to a certain degree, coordinated the relevant activities between ourselves,” described the chairman of the Riigikogu Committee on Rural Affairs Kalvi Kova. “Chairmen of committees involved with rural development will have joint meetings with other European chairmen of committees of rural development in Copenhagen and in Brussels; we will have to stand for the Baltic interests together,” he added.