The real problem for Estonia is political, not economic. Some euro zone members (France is often mentioned) think that allowing an obscure and volatile ex-communist economy to join a currency union that has too many dodgy members already should not be a priority. If Estonia is really so solid, why not wait a year to be sure?Yet that would send a perverse message. Estonia is one of two countries in the whole EU that actually meets the common currency’s rules (Sweden being the other). All the rest (even those that use the euro) have gaily breached the deficit and debt limits. The grit shown by Estonian politicians and the public in shrinking spending, raising taxes, and cutting wages has left outsiders awestruck (see leader). Punishing Estonia which obeyed the rules, while bailing out Greece which has breached them flagrantly, would do little for the euro’s credibility with governments and investors alike.
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