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Niitra, Sirje

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Postimees - Estonia | 21/06/2011

Sauna helps against stink in buses

A growing number of passengers are being ejected from buses and trains in Tallinn because of their body odour. The daily Postimees says it's time to attack the problem at its source: "Among the major causes are poverty and the lack of possibilities to stay clean. How many public saunas still exist nowadays? Only very few. Entire neighbourhoods in Estonian cities have no warm water, in some residents must even fetch their cold water from the courtyard. Clearly it's not just enough to gather Tallinn's homeless once a year and bring them to the sauna in the street Raua tänav - such washing days must be organised far more frequently. Nevertheless the stampede to the saunas on these days clearly shows that people are still very much interested in being clean and require their services - even if taking a sauna isn't exactly cheap."

Postimees - Estonia | 29/09/2009

High tobacco tax a boon for black market

The daily Postimees sees little sense in the drastic rise in tobacco tax in Estonia: "People are simply divided into two groups: the smokers and the non-smokers. In recent times, however, the smokers have been subject to an ongoing series of punishments. Within four years the tax on tobacco has been progressively raised by 230 percent. How many people have quit smoking as a result can't be said with certainty. But one thing's for sure: there continues to be a large number of smokers, they just have less money for other things. Annoyingly, this higher tobacco tax hasn't brought the state an increase in revenues. On the contrary: it's really a boon for the black market, and nothing has come of the millions the tax authorities had hoped for. Meanwhile the smugglers are laughing themselves blue in the face because they're raking it in. And in Narva [on the Russian border] there's hardly a single store where you can buy legal cigarettes any more."

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