By Henry Chu
Los Angeles Times, published online by the Seattle Times
TALLINN, Estonia — So what if international investors are fleeing the euro in droves, judging it too risky and unstable? Jurgen Ligi is running in the opposite direction: into the currency's arms, with his entire country in tow.
On Jan. 1, 2011, after an arduous eligibility process, Estonia is expected to bid goodbye to its beloved kroon and become the 17th country to adopt the euro.
At a time when some question the currency's very survival, the Estonian government insists the euro remains a desirable commodity and that switching over would re-brand this Baltic nation.
"Estonia ... is unknown. Markets do not believe in us," Ligi, the country's finance minister, said in his office in Tallinn, the capital. Adopting the euro would stamp Estonia with "the quality mark of the European economy" and instantly make the country more attractive to investors as a member of the club, Ligi said.
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Estonia eager to embrace euro despite currency's woes (2)