Estonian auditors cast a shadow over huge energy company

Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria's PM. (CC ByEuropean Peoples Party)

Estonian companies occurred not as transparent an successful as they seemed.

Hungarian growth is not as extraordinary as expected.

Bulgarian anti-corruption law… What anti-corruption law?

Estonia

How much money can you spend on projects being a CEO? Controversy over the former CEO of Eesti Energia – Sandor Liive. The new management after auditing the company claims that he and his subordinates spent too much money on the strategic projects and on consultants.

The auditors say in their report that building Enefit 280 at Utah island – the impressive oil plant that coproduces electricity, gas and oil costs EUR 270m instead of EUR 207m. And that a consultant named Dominic Freely earned EUR 10m advising Eesti Energia between 2000-2014. He also worked for YTL Power International (a company related to Eesti Energia, operating in Jordan), he would earn twice as much if the company would sell the Jordanian project to Chinese investors.

“When they speak about the increased cost of the project, what they neglect is the fact that we built a device which produced twice the planned amount of oil and is therefore twice as environment-friendly”, Mr Liive explains to Postimees.

Sandor Liive left from Eesti Energia in 2014. According to the company’s documents Eesti Energia sales revenues reached EUR 181m in Q2’2015 while Group’s EBIDTA was EUR 69m and net profit was EUR 6,8m.

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Bulgaria

Anti-corruption bill almost ready (again). Bulgarians stumble adjusting to EU standards. They are trying to pass new laws against corruption but it’s not easy. Bulgarian parliament rejected the government’s project of anti-corruption bill at the first reading. Boyko Borisov, The Prime Minister of Bulgaria, claims the new law should be drafted within three months.

The aim of the bill was to prevent corruption among high level public officials, establish an anti-corruption body consisting members of the Council of Ministers, the Commission for Prevention and Ascertainment of Conflict of Interest and departments of the National Audit Office.

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By the way, before the 2015 report on Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) would be published by Amnesty International, have a look at 2014 data for EU and Western Europe. Among 31 countries Bulgaria is the fourth most corrupted state in Europe (and the 69th most corrupted in the world). The top three corrupted in EU and Western Europe are: Romania, Italy and Greece (and by the way Poland is 14th).

>>See more: infographic 

Hungary

Economy goes better, but not so good as expected. Do you remember the impact of imposing a ban on Sunday shopping in your country? Well, I don’t. Nor the Hungarians. After introducing no-working Sundays in the country early spring this year, Hungarians reported a decline in food sales. But the index now improved. According to both raw and calendar-adjusted data in July 2015 the volume of retail sales grew by 7,0% (in food, drinks and tobacco stores by 6,3%, in non-food trade by 8,3%).

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New data from Hungarian Central Statistical Office: Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) informed on September 4th that the GDP in Q2’2015 was 2,7% higher than in Q2’2014. It was also 0,5% higher than in Q1’2015. But in the first quarter of 2015 the output was 3,5% y/y, which means that the Q2 growth is smaller than expected. This is due mainly to the crisis in Hungarian agriculture.

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