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The Act on Amendments to the Temporary Administration of Payment of Salaries related to Average Wages in Estonia Act (522 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, which reduces the salaries of the high state officials whose salary is related to average wages by 8 per cent, was passed with 88 votes in favour. The extended list includes all high officials whose salary is related to average wages, starting from the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

 
The Act on Amendments to Acts relating to the Second Supplementary State Budget of the Year 2009 Act (511 SE), initiated by the Government, the purpose of which is to increase the revenue and to reduce the expenditure of the state budget, was passed with 56 votes in favour (36 votes against). For that purpose, the excise duty rate of cigarettes is increased by 5 per cent and, the excise duty rate of different motor fuels, by 10 per cent. At the same time, value added tax is increased to 20 per cent instead of 18 per cent. Environmental charges are also increased. The procedure for payment and the rates of sickness benefits and the rate of care benefit are amended. According to the Act, study loans will no longer be compensated for in the future. The compensation relating to the study loan will be available for those who will have submitted an application as at 1 July 2009.
 
The Act on Amendments to the Advertising Act (471 SE), initiated by the Economic Affairs Committee, according to which the information provided at the location of economic and professional activities concerning the trade marks sold in such location or the conditions of sale of the trade marks is not deemed to be advertising, was passed with 87 votes in favour. The Act also eliminates the prohibition on advertising which had been established on commercial lotteries.
 
The Act on Amendments to the Public and National Holidays Act (509 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides 23 August as the commemoration day for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism, was passed with 73 votes in favour (6 votes against).
 
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Grant of State Guarantees for Energy Saving Construction and Renovation” (541 OE), submitted by the Estonian Green Party Faction, was passed with 59 votes in favour (20 votes against). The Resolution provides the use of guarantees for supporting energy saving renovation or construction, initially in the amount of 10 billion kroons. The Resolution also requires launching of different support mechanisms for implementation of the guarantees.
 
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Estonian Flag Act (529 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee. The purpose of the Bill is the intention to replace the current musical signature “Mu isamaa armas” [“My Dear Fatherland”] played at the Pikk Hermann tower on the lowering of the Estonian flag by a signature created on the basis of a fragment of the song by Gustav Ernesaks composed to the words of Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm” [“Land of My Fathers, Land that I Love”].
 
The sitting ended at 5 p.m.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
 
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