Estonia's Entry Expands Euro Into Former Soviet Union
Rahvusvahelised uudised 02 Jan 2011  EWR
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Ott Ummelas, Bloomberg News
Estonia entered the euro area with “no glitches” in banking and retail, shrugging off the sovereign debt crisis rippling through Europe to extend the currency block into the former Soviet Union.

Wedged between Russia and Latvia on the Baltic Sea, Estonia is the 17th country to switch to the currency. Gross domestic product of 14 billion euros ($19 billion) makes it the second- smallest euro economy after Malta.

“The New Year came exactly like the Estonian central bank and its partners had planned,” deputy central bank Governor Rein Minka told a news conference in Tallinn, the capital, today. “There were no glitches with adopting the euro or with technical systems. The new money reached all the places it was supposed to.”

As Europe grapples with the financial crisis, Estonia may be the last addition to the euro club for several years. Lithuania and Latvia, the next in line, aim to adopt the currency in 2014, while bigger eastern countries have shied away from setting target dates.

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