TALLINN -- In his televised New Year's address read inthe hall of the Bank of Estonia, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that the people of Estonia must not believe those predicting a fiscal crisis and economic crash.
The president underscored that free market economiesinevitably include development and change.
"This is why rapid economic growth, characteristic oftransition economies, has now stabilized into a steady rise. Let us accept thisand keep this in mind. Yet we must not attach disproportionate or falsequalities to our now more measured economic growth. We must not believe those predictingcrisis and crash. They are making an overstatement and a mistake, they misleadand discourage. They are wrong," Ilves said.
In the future, Estonian economy will grow in a morebalanced manner, he predicted.
Ilves observed that the five or six percent growth rateexpected for the new year means that Estonia is no longer racing, but isstill making good progress and outperformning most European economies.
He also took great pains to scotch devaluation rumors whichare proving to be a persistent annoyance.
"First, and most important: the rate of the Estoniankroon is steady. That was decided already 15 years ago, when Estonia made the choice for the present monetary system. To portenddevaluation is incompetent, is false play. The note of lucrative interestsrings too clear in the talk of harbingers of trouble," the president said.
"They mean to create mistrust in the future of ourcountry. Just like those few nights in April were meant to create panic andinsecurity. That failed, because our trust in the Estonian state wasstrong. We had the balance of mind to ignore trouble-mongers," he said.