Skip to comments.Estonia: The muted revival of a Baltic tiger
Posted on 12/30/2011 11:06:39 AM PST by Cronos
Estonia is the euro's newest member and also has the eurozone's fastest growing economy
Most European leaders would be delighted if their economy was growing as fast as Estonia's.
The small Baltic state's economy is forecast to have grown by 8% during 2011, according to the EU's official statistics body. That's more than five times faster growth than the European Union as a whole.
But Estonia is still regaining the ground it lost during a financial crisis that struck it and its Baltic neighbours in 2008-9, when a property bubble burst spectacularly, causing the economy to shrink and unemployment to rocket to 18%.
..."We gave the signals to private companies to cut expenses and labour costs... to improve our export competitiveness. This helped us a lot. When we regained growth, it was mostly down to exports," he says.
It's also no coincidence that Estonia has by far the lowest national debt in the EU - 6.7% in 2010. That's because successive governments have focused on balancing the budget rather than spending more in the good times, unlike most other European countries...Estonia has been a member of the single European currency for a year. Despite the euro's troubles, public opinion is still broadly in favour of membership.
Estonia's president, Toomas Ilves, says the single currency has been of great benefit to the country..."Joining the euro has restored investor confidence lost during our recession",... we started a business in 15 minutes. And all the government offices we needed to visit were on the same street, almost in one block,"
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Finance Minister Mr Ligi.
"We have cut back on our spending and are more competitive than we were. We are much more prepared for any crisis than most of Europe."
If only President Obummer and his merry band of the “best and brightest” had as much sense as these Balts. We could have gotten out of this recession years ago.