On March 29, Tallinn Airport was officially re-named after the first Estonian President, Lennart Meri. A smiling Lennart Meri will from now on greet all passengers of Tallinn's airport. The panels were created by Peeter Laurits for what would have been Meri's 80th birthday. Another side of the airport opened a bas-relief of Meri made by Mare Mikoff. Incumbent President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that the new name of the airport displays respect to the Republic of Estonia, its history and democratic values. "Part of the behavior of a respectful state is respect toward its history and great figures," Ilves said. The airport was renamed as the city held a major conference that was also named in Meri's honor.
On March 31 the Estonian Government, after listening to the new forecast prepared by the Finance Ministry, has came to the conclusion that Estonian accession to the eurozone is possible by Jan 1, 2011, at the latest. Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said that the implementation of all the necessary criteria for accession will hopefully be ready by this coming fall, which will make it possible to introduce the euro in Estonia in early 2011. "The deadline is needed in order to start practical preparations. Preparation of the enterprises and banks for euro introduction must start nine to 12 months in advance," Ansip said. However, it was also decided to leave the "backup" date of July 1 next year.