Article „Are rules similar to everyone in the Republic of Estonia?“ by attorney-at-law Epp Lumiste
The Online version of newspaper Postimees has published an article „Are rules similar to everyone in the Republic of Estonia?“ by attorney-at-law Epp Lumiste. The author of the article is expressing her opinion regarding the grant given to the former President of Estonia and his Ärma farmstead, the use and the partial recollection of the grant which has received loads of feedback in media. The author agrees that the general public is mainly deploring the fact that the receiver of the grant has initially accepted it. At the same time the actual negative attitude should be directed to the donor, since it is the responsibility of the foundation Enterprise Estonia to apply the same rules to each applicant.
Ärma farmstead has never been developed as a tourism farm and has never been used for this purpose. Therefore it should be evident that the grant given by the Enterprise Estonia has not been used for the assigned purpose and it cannot be considered as eligible expenses. Although the expenses fail to be eligible, the foundation has found it reasonable to reclaim only 10 per cent of the grant from the recipient.
In the other end of the spectrum of recollecting grants is the persistent claim of the Enterprise Estonia from the town of Tõrva. The author is providing an example about the dispute between the town of Tõrva and the Enterprise Estonia regarding the grant for reconstructing kindergarten „Mõmmik“. During the reconstruction works it became necessary to make additional works in order to guarantee the safety of the building and children. Due to the limited timeframe, the town used the means of negotiation instead of new public procurement for the additional works. According to the foundation, this was a wrong type of procurement and therefore they are reclaiming 25 per cent of the grant allocated for the reconstruction of the kindergarten. Despite the fact that Estonian courts have annulled the reclamation decisions of the foundation, the Enterprise Estonia has continued to reclaim the allocation from the kindergarten.
As a conclusion, the author is of opinion that the rules can be similar to everyone but the Enterprise Estonia fails to apply the same rules to all the recipients.