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The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of five Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Support of Enterprise and State Loan Guarantees Act (323 SE), initiated by the Government, specifies the concept of state guarantee, describes the mechanism for implementation of state liability and provides direct guaranteeing of obligations by the state as required by EU directives and brings it into conformity with the EU banking directives. According to the latter, only such obligation as is directly guaranteed by the state is deemed to be a state guarantee, that is, risk free guarantee. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Electricity Market Act (335 SE), initiated by the Government, brings the Electricity Market Act into conformity with a EU procedure to be applied upon determining gas and electricity prices charged to industrial end-users. The Bill enables more specific information to be obtained on the formation of the price of electricity and network services. In addition, the obligation to submit electricity or network service price data is established for producers and line possessors (in cases when they provide network services to consumers) so that the bases for the formation of the price of electricity and network services would be as clear and transparent as possible in the situation of opening electricity market. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Traffic Act and the Penal Code and Associated Acts (179 SE), initiated by the Government, organises the regulation concerning traffic offences and steps up the sanctions system. A punishment of up to 300 fine units or detention, or withdrawal of the right to drive for up to one year is established for driving a power-driven vehicle or a tram by a person whose blood alcohol content exceeds the permitted limits. The Bill provides that driving a power-driven vehicle or a tram in a state of intoxication is punishable by a pecuniary punishment or up to 3 years’ imprisonment. The exceeding of a speed limit by 21 to 40 kilometres per hour by a driver of a power-driven vehicle is punishable by a fine of up to 100 fine units or withdrawal of the right to drive for a period of one month up to one year. Stricter punishments are established for failure to fasten the seatbelt. Also, a possibility is created to apply written caution procedure in the event of a traffic offence recorded by automatic traffic supervision equipment, or on a photo or another recording. 

The Temporary Administration of Payment of Salaries related to Average Salary in Estonia Bill (296 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Estonian Green Party Faction, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, the Estonian People’s Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction, regulates the payment of the salaries related to the average salary in Estonia from January 2009 until 28 February 2010. The salaries of members of the Riigikogu, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, Ministers, the Commander of the Defence Forces, the Auditor General, the Chancellor of Justice, judges of all instances and the Gender Equality Commissioner are related to the average salary in Estonia. The Bill provides freezing of the salary of the above-mentioned officials at the current level. 

The Temporary Administration of Salary of Member of Riigikogu Bill (342 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee, regulates the payment of salary to Members of the Riigikogu from January 2009 until 28 February 2010. According to the Bill, the average wages in the fourth quarter of the previous year will remain the ceiling in the calculation of salaries. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Consolidated Report of the Economic Year of 2007 of the State” (340 OE), submitted by the Government. 

Due to the end of the working time of the sitting, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the European Parliament Election Act, the Local Government Council Election Act and the Riigikogu Election Act (338 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee, was adjourned. The Bill repeals the provisions which prohibit exhibiting of political outdoor advertising during the time of active election campaigning and prescribe liability for violation of this prohibition. As repealing of the prohibition of political outdoor advertising eliminates the need to define the time of active election campaigning, the Bill also repeals the corresponding provisions of election Acts. The legislative proceeding of the Bill will be resumed at the sitting tomorrow. 

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The Auditor General Mihkel Oviir gave an overview of the use and preservation of state assets in 2007. 

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On the motion of the Environment Committee (61 votes in favour, 8 votes against), the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Making a Proposal to the Government of the Republic in connection with “The Oil Shale Use National Development Plan 2008-2015”” (359 OE), submitted by the Estonian Green Party Faction with the intention of amending the relevant development plan, was rejected. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

 
 
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