Justin Vela

Estonia joins the eurozone…

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ISTANBUL- Estonia has joined the eurozone.

I was just in Estonia this past April. From my article:

...despite some internal squabbling and the current ruling coalition functioning as a minority government, Tallinn stuck by its commitment to an open economy, high transparency, and limited red tape. The country also refused to devalue the kroon, which might have helped shore up its exports but would have complicated its goal of adopting the euro next year.

“We were going to stick to the Maastricht criteria whatever it took,” Ligi said. “We wanted to restore trust in the region. That was very important. That we restore the trust we’ve [had] for 15 years.”

Earlier this month the European Commission said that Estonia had satisfied the Maastricht financial criteria and gave the green light for the country to join the eurozone in January. When asked why Estonia attracted more investment during the 1990s than the other Baltic countries, the unabashedly pro-Western Ligi responded, “We spoke better English. In Latvia they spoke better Russian, and in Lithuania more Polish and Russian.”

The minister said the Baltic countries differ more than usually portrayed. Estonia, he said, is influenced more culturally and economically by Finland and Sweden, its main trading partners. Latvia is mostly influenced by Russia, and Lithuania by Poland. Nordic telecommunications and electronics companies and banks have invested heavily in Estonia since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Full text

Estonian Finance Minister Jurgen Ligi photographed in his office in Tallinn, Estonia on 23 April 2010. As defense minister Ligi ordered the "Russian Soldier" statue moved from downtown to a graveyard on the outskirts of Tallinn.

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Written by Justin Vela

June 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Europe

Tagged with , , , ,

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