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I submit a set of reflections that came about because of two events. One was an economic roundtable arranged by the Office of the European Parliament in Riga that I had the privilege of speaking at in November. I had been asked to elaborate on the idea that the reemergence of the Baltic States onto the world market in the early nineties was something that had not been planned with much reason, but fell into our lap instead with little reflection and prior preparation. A free market improvisation, if you will, constructed initially on the basis of the "one book by Milton Friedman" that Mart Laar had read as he assumed the burden of leadership.

Back in early 1990, before Estonia regained its independence from the Soviet Union, my wife Helju and I were at an Estonian gathering in Syracuse, New York. Our friends Maie and Oleg Golubjatnikov mentioned that the Estonian American Fund (EAF) was looking for medical contributions to send to Estonia.  At the time Crouse Hospital, where I worked in the X-ray department, was replacing its CT scanner. The equipment still produced excellent images but it was too slow; and patients were backing up despite the machine being in use 16 hours per day.

15 December (BNS) - In its Tuesday issue, The New York Times contained an overview of the euro aspirations of Estonia and the other Baltic countries and of the problems connected with it.
The paper finds that Estonia has fared better in the financial crisis than its two fellow former Soviet republics Latvia and Lithuania because it was more prudent about foreign borrowing and fiscal discipline in the boom years.

8 December (BNS) - The international developer of online games and gaming environments Playtech, which does a large portion of its development work in Estonia, is to buy the gaming software company Gaming Technology Solutions (GTS).
The acquisition will take place for an initial consideration of 10.8 million euros, with a further consideration capped at 21.6 million euros over the next two years based on the future performance of the business.
GTS offers skill games, including those allowed under regulated markets, Playtech said. It said GTS has amongst its licensees some of the most well established European sports betting operators.
For the 12-month period ended June 2009, GTS recorded revenues of 2.6 million pounds sterling.
Playtech is listed on the Alternative Investments Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

It's not easy being a jõulupuuehe, for two reasons: you can't wait to be picked off your perch at the store, plus you carry the added burden of being a compound word in Estonian. This makes life very difficult, since people tend to want to break you up according to their English language tendencies.

Rick Steves' Europe

It's amazing what a stretch of water can do. The country of Estonia sits across the Baltic Sea from Sweden and Finland. Yet the struggles of the last couple of generations couldn't be more different on opposite sides of the sea. Traveling to this former Soviet republic spices up any visit to this region — especially if you connect with the people and tune into their story about their struggle for freedom.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/ricksteveseurope/2010453233_websteves08.html?cmpid=2628

It’s amazing what a stretch of water can do. The country of Estonia sits across the Baltic Sea from Sweden and Finland. Yet the struggles of the past couple of generations couldn’t be more different on opposite sides of the sea. 

Traveling to this former Soviet republic spices up any visit to this region, especially if you connect with the people and tune into their story about their struggle for freedom.

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20091212/LIVING/712129963


Edward Lucas

A crisis is an expensive lesson, and wasting anything expensive is bad. So Estonians should use these hard times to take a hard look at themselves, their society and their state, and work out how to dump bad habits and adopt good ones. Learning from your own mistakes is good and learning from other people’s is even better. So Estonians should also look south to Latvia to see what may happen if current bad tendencies persist.
There are no quick fixes, only important changes. Independence was not a panacea. nor was introducing the kroon, or joining NATO and the EU. Adopting the euro will be no panacea either: it is a necessary condition for solid prosperity in future, but not a sufficient one.

http://edwardlucas.blogspot.com/2009/12/estonias-future.html

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