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SELLING AIRLINE COMPANY: On Nov. 16, Lithuania began talks with Western banks, asking them to help in looking for a strategic partner for the national airline company Lietuvos Avialinijos. Gintaras Striaukas, Lithuanian transport minister, met with representatives of the World Bank in Riga and was to meet with transport director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Nov. 20 in Vilnius.
FINISHING SOONER: Estonian construction company Eesti Ehitus will probably finish work on the new container terminal at Tallinn's Muuga port at the beginning of December, and the terminal may start operation before the end of the year, a port executive said Nov. 15. The construction company is ahead of schedule with its work, Port of Tallinn infrastructure division director Jaano Vink said. Originally, the terminal was expected to be ready shortly before Christmas.
NUMERO UNO: The Postimees newspaper has climbed to the No. 1 position among Estonian dailies in terms of readership, having 23,000 more readers than the tabloid SL Ohtuleht, which topped the list so far, a survey by the market research company Saar Poll indicates. The poll, conducted in October, shows the print edition of Postimees as being read by 295,000 people.
REMAINS OUT OF SERVICE: Although the two catamarans of Nordic Jet Line pulled from the Tallinn-Helsinki route because of a safety failure earlier this month originally were to remain out of service until Nov. 20, new information suggests the ships won't resume operation before Nov. 30 at the earliest. Nordic Jet Line said on its Web page it would provide further information regarding the traffic of its ships on Nov. 27.
TV1 PAYS TAX DEBT: The Estonian TV1 television station, which was discovered having paid non-taxed wages to its employees, has paid 12 million kroons ($660,000) in unpaid personal income tax to the Tax Board. The case has been closed, and there will be no further complaints in its connection, Tax Board spokesman Koit Luus told the daily Eesti Paevaleht.
LITHUANIAN OFFICES MOST EXPENSIVE: Renting office space is still most expensive in central Vilnius among the capital cities of the three Baltic countries, according to data from Ober Haus real estate company. Average office space rental in central Vilnius in November was $10-$25 per square meter per month. In central Riga, office space ranged from $8-$20 per square meter a month. The lowest average office space rental in November was in central Tallinn at $5.46-$12.5 per square meter a month.
PRIVATIZATION PERIOD EXTENDED: On Nov. 16 the Latvian parliament resolved to extend the validity period of privatization vouchers until December 31, 2001, by adopting respective amendments to the law on privatization vouchers. Previously the expiration date of privatization vouchers was set at the end of this year, but since privatization has been slow it was suggested to extend the voucher validity.
REELING IN TOURISTS TOGETHER: The Baltic countries have decided to develop a joint strategy for participation in international tourism fairs and events, Latvian Tourism Development Agency director, Solvita Vevere, said Nov. 15. Vevere said the decision was made in London, where currently one of the world's biggest tourism fairs, World Travel Market 2000, is under way.
MEAT TO HIGHEST BIDDER: The trustee in the bankruptcy of the Estonian meat packing factory Adavere Lihatoostus is going to sell the bankrupt firm in one piece by auction, with bids in writing, but without a starting price. The trustee, Toomas Saarma, said the factory continues working and that it is being sold to meet debt claims. To date, claims of roughly 34 million kroons ($1.86 million) have been filed.
TAKING ORDERS: Estonia-based industrial company AS Tarkon has started to fulfill an order this fall as contractor for the Swedish company Smarteq, maker of communications equipment for Volvo trucks. The Smarteq order is expected to make up 7 percent of the company's annual sales next year.