Forbes: The Estonian way in the crisis was right

In the opinion of the US media businessman Steve Forbes, the course taken by Estonia and the other Baltic countries permitted them to recover from the crisis better than other European countries.

In the August issue of Forbes magazine, Forbes referred to the opinions of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves. “When it comes to Europe’s problems, Ilves has it right,” Forbes wrote. “The three Baltic countries, being almost totally dependent on global trade, suffered during the global economic crisis, but unlike Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal, they slammed on their fiscal brakes. No Keynesian stimulus programs for them,” Forbes said. “All three left their flat-tax regimes in place and stuck to their free-trade policies, although some taxes were raised.”

“The Krugmans of the world were aghast that these countries saw a quick economic turnaround. By European standards all grew smartly in 2011, and they will likely eke out gains this year despite Europe’s recession,” Forbes wrote.

“Critics may carp that these are small nations whose lessons are irrelevant, but look at Poland, whose performance has been stellar. It has been carrying out an astonishing privatisation programme¬ covering more than 800 companies, including several with revenues over $1 billion. Warsaw is emerging into something of a regional financial centre,” Forbes said.

Source: Estonian Review

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