Austerity Pays Off for Estonia (1)
Arvamus 07 Jun 2010  EWR
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Former Soviet Republic Could Be Next to Adopt Euro
Jan Puhl, Spiegel Online


Former unemployed blogger Meeli Hunt: "I've become tougher and more frugal."
No European country has been more adept than the former Soviet republic of Estonia in dealing with the global economic crisis. Tallinn implemented some of the toughest austerity measures seen in Europe and, in one year's time, has qualified to become the next country to introduce the euro.

Meeli Hunt is Estonia's best-known unemployed person. When she appears on TV talk shows, she is always perfectly coiffed and still wears designer glasses. She is now even slimmer than she was when she worked as a government press officer. She goes to the gym every day, and she doesn't look her age of 52. She developed her exercise habit when she suddenly lost her job.

Hunt has had a typical Estonian career, which took off after the country gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, a time when everything seemed possible. But in 2008, her career took an equally precipitous nosedive when economic growth came to a grinding halt in Estonia. She managed to survive tough times with her savings, and now things are slowly starting to look up for Hunt, and for the rest of the country. "I've become tougher and more frugal," she says.

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