Self-help is key to recovery

  • 2011-11-02
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said on Monday at a meeting of the Nordic and Baltic prime ministers in Copenhagen that finding solutions to the debt crisis is primarily the duty of the states that experience the crisis, reports LETA. “Finding solutions is first and foremost the duty of the member states that experience the crisis,” said Ansip. “The rest of Europe will help them, but only they can implement the necessary structural reforms, cut their expenditure and step up tax collection.”
According to Ansip, the crisis of recent years has taught Estonia a very clear lesson that prudent fiscal policy must be implemented on a continuous basis. He said that Estonia had recovered from the crisis with an effective financial system and fiscal policy, and had done so considerably more strongly than some analysts had predicted.

The key issue discussed at the meeting was the economic situation in Europe, including the debt crisis. The heads of the governments welcomed the agreements reached at recent summits of the European Union and eurozone on measures for exiting the debt crisis and expressed their hope that these will have a positive impact. It was emphasized, however, that countries bear responsibility for solving their problems themselves.

It was recognized at the meeting that the economic and financial situation in the Nordic and Baltic countries is very good as compared to the southern regions of Europe, and that the basis for new economic growth is favorable. In Prime Minister Ansip’s opinion, it is completely logical for Nordic region countries to develop cooperation and plan their future together.
“The Nordic and Baltic countries share the same values,” noted Ansip. “This region is our home in economic terms. Estonia’s major trade partners are sitting around this table.”

Ansip expressed his hope that at the forthcoming working meetings the issues prioritized by all countries in the region could be addressed in greater detail, such as the further development of the common market, including the digital single market.
The meeting of the Nordic and Baltic countries (NB8) summoned the heads of the governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. NB8 is a regional format of cooperation whereas no other separate structure or organization has been set up for cooperation. At the political level, the key form of cooperation is the annual meeting of prime ministers and foreign ministers.