Nr. 12-2011 Published monthly by:
The Swedish Chamber of Commerce
in Estonia

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The only way forward or a huge mistake As representatives of the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund arrived in Dublin to reach an agreement on Ireland's need for financial support, Estonia's upcoming introduction of the euro was discussed in Latvia and Lithuania.

- Latvia has no other way forward than to fulfill the Maastricht criteria and join the eurozone, said Estonia's Finance Minister Jürgen Ligi at a mid-November meeting in Riga. This is the way forward for Latvia just like it is for Estonia. We are too small countries to stay outside the eurozone.

In March this year the Latvian Government set January 1st, 2014 as the official target date for Latvia's entry to the eurozone.

Ruta Vainiene, President of Lithuania's Free Market Institute, has quite another opinion on the euro:

- Lithuania should observe the current situation in the eurozone and not make any further commitments to the single European currency at this time, said Ruta Vainiene according to The Lithuania Tribune. There is an alarming situation for the euro right now and in my opinion Estonia has done a huge mistake by joining now. Though Lithuania's currency is pegged to the euro, we should keep a safe distance and bear in mind that there is always a possibility for us to go back to a floating exchange rate.

- Occasionally eurozone neighbors can soften their economic problems by manipulating the exchange rate of their currency, said Jürgen Ligi. However, as a small country, Estonia cannot afford to do this, as it would cause a loss of trust among investors and commerce and trade partners.

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