Centre Party slush fund
Archived Articles 09 Oct 2008  EWR
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A million EEK for job ads?

Tallinn’s ruling Centre Party is suspected of secretly funding its activities via a non profit organization. Business daily Äripäev reports that the Jüri Vilms Foundation which publishes two weekly periodicals, received 1 million kroons from Security Company ESS Group for job ads that never appeared in print.

Businesses in Estonia are prohibited from donating money to political parties and the Foundation, which is major contributer to the Centre Party, is suspected of funnelling cash from ESS and other companies into the party coffers.

When questioned about the payments, ESS shareholder Urmas Sõõrumaa said, “Honestly, I don’t remember. I will study it.” ESS CEO Tarmo Keskküla said “… the situation changed and we did not need new employees” and the ads did not run.

Äripäev points out that under normal business practises, companies pay for advertising after it has been published and that ESS continued to run job ads in other newspapers throughout the year.
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