Estonia: Krugman blog makes president lose plot
8 June 2012
“Let's write about something we know nothing about & be smug, overbearing & patronizing: after all, they're just wogs”: these are the exact words of Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves’ Twitter response to Paul Krugman’s latest blog on the New York Times website.
Having presented a graph of Estonia’s real GDP, the columnist and Nobel Economics Prize laureate questioned the notion of the “economic triumph” of a country that has been adopted as a “poster child for austerity defenders”.
“This is not the first time that the Nobel Prize laureate has criticised Estonia, Latvia and Bulgaria over their austerity policies”, notes Postimees, while Eesti Päevaleht points out that “Krugman is ideologically opposed to austerity”.
The latter continues – “... of course, the head of state should defend the interests of Estonia, but going about it in this way is detrimental to the country’s reputation”. All the more so, because Ilves himself has “recently called for a more measured approach in political debates”. For its part, Postimees remarks that “Ilves could have chosen his words more carefully, but at the same time, his response was like a breath of fresh air in comparison to the usual tightlipped statements drafted by media advisors.”