Ilves defends eurozone membership

  • 2010-12-13
  • TBT Staff

The Estonian president said that it would be good for his country to join the eurozone despite the recent problems faced by the currency bloc.

BRUSSELS - Estonian President Toomas Hendrick Ilves has defended his country's decision to join the eurozone at the beginning of next year as the unified currency area enters what many analysts are calling its first major crisis.

"I don't know if there is a good time or a bad time to join the euro, but it's quite clear that it is in our interest to join the eurozone," Ilves said in an interview with EUObserver.

"It will boost business confidence, investor confidence and also the well-being and confidence of our people," he said.

The president also used the opportunity to highlight that Estonia is now the only country in NATO, the EU and the eurozone that still fulfills the basic requirements of all three organizations.

"If you look at Europe today and then you look at countries in all fundamental organisations – EU, Nato and the eurozone – there's only one country that basically fulfills the obligations for all: Estonia. Being on defence expenditure, budget deficit or national debt."

Estonia is set to join the eurozone and adopt the common currency as of Jan. 1, 2011. It will be the first post-Soviet country to join the eurozone.