During Gorbatsov period and before Estonian independence, free markets developed and several Estonian entrepreneurs where able to sell their production to west for badly needed hard currency. But hard currency transactions where limited to only one bank in Estonia which was a brach of Soviet Export bank. And we had to use their services.
When Estonia got independence it was told to public that all the customers accounts on this bank where frozen. This caused bankruptcy to several export oriented businesses which would have been the base of Estonian new economy.
In our firsts elections we voted persons to represent us in parliament. Then some US consultants come to our country telling: “this is wrong. People should vote political parties.” And some leaders started to create their parties which in our small nation (1 million people) community created soup opera type of situations. Nobody had any money for marketing their political programs anyway. Suddenly Estonian Central Bank leader created a political party who had lot of cash to put on marketing and of course they won elections. And somehow they have been in power since then.
Now after more than twenty years it has become public how they made this this cash. The frozen assets was actually frozen only for Estonians and Russian (or others) businesses could use freely. So this man decided to make a fund where they could put all Estonian demands and paid something 8-12% of total sum to buy those demands using even one commercial bank financing to do that. Remember, the guy was then president of Estonian Central Bank and most of our banks where in liquidity crisis then and he was the decision maker, who can survive and who to liquidate. Afterwards they transferred all Estonian demands over $30 million to Singaporean company, which again was in Russian ownership. And imagine, one of their Party member just went and took $30M of cash out from Russian bank. And then they used this cash to finance their newly created Party marketing campaign to get to the power in Estonia.
And somehow they have refused to withdraw from power since then. After first elections based on new election law, they passed a law that made newcomers practically impossible to create a Party or become elected. You have to have minimum amount of members, only Parties already elected to parliament can get millions from public funds, frequently election campaigns are using taxpayers money for their election campaigns calling it “citizen notification campaign”, etc which is not allowable to newcomers.
Most odd things that was put to that Estonian election law was the use of party lists. So, party makes a list of their people and when you vote some person on bottom of the list, your vote will be transferred to the person higher in list. So usually you have to donate high sums to Party to get higher rank which also means high rank government jobs. Somehow it has been very common practise that Party members are donating high sums of cash to Party and not using bank transfers. One Party member thrown out from that Party afterwards, testified that he have donated money that wasn’t his and was given to him in plastic bag.
Somehow all such kind of scandals have been muted quickly.When Estonian journalist went to Bruxelles to ask him how they got that cash to pay to Party’s account as he had copies of evidence of that, first his assistant tried to throw her out from press conference, subsequently same journalist again tried to ask same question being in elevator with him, his only answer was “I do not remember”. After of some high level European Union Commissions corruption scandals that guy was involved he tried to get a post in Estonia again. His Party leader and long served prime minister wanted to get better salary job in Bruxelles so they decided to make swap. And somehow he wasn’t aware what kind of questions local newspapers would like to be answered. So after a week or so he just jumped to plane again back to Bruxelles where his kind of criminals feel safe.
Meanwhile during that Party ruling Estonia, Estonian economy has totally collapsed. Something half of the working population has left the country. For a little bit over a million people nation where over 60% are dependants and over 10% works in public sector, this means catastrophe. Economic Growth shown to European Union has been achieved by raising government controlled prices, taxes and changing calculation methods. Of course there are low unemployment figures as nobody doesn’t even expect to get a job in Estonia. Entrepreneurship, that we had when we built our country is now ruined by corruption and stupid EU laws. This Party has always declared their favour to foreign capital rather than trusting local entrepreneurs. Of course, foreign capital has donated a lot to Party figures as they had more money compared to locals. In the beginning we built our banks and telecoms to be most innovative in world. Now those are owned by Swedish corporations who are using those to rob Estonian people and not even paying much taxes there. And as final result, Estonia doesn’t even produce own bread. That’s now imported from Finland as Finns purchased most of our small bakeries to built a bigger factory and now they just shut it down. And you can’t open your own bakeries anymore. First, banks doesn’t give loans or lease anymore to businesses based on business plan. Banks only interest there is to rob Estonian real estate. Secondly you don’t get any permit. By European Union rules now adopted you need a lot of permits to manufacture food so and every jack-in-office thinks something they do not like or asks bribe. But Party continues in Bruxelles.