Economy & Finance

Many Nations are wrestling with the effects of a strong euro – Estonian Finance Minister


Many Nations are wrestling with the effects of a strong euro, especially if other economic adjustments haven’t taken place, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Estonia, Jürgen Ligi said yesterday in an interview in Tallinn

“There are plenty of economies in Europe that feel the pinch, that have been slow with restructuring and therefore have their economies stagnating,” Jürgen Ligi said, when asked whether the euro is still too strong.

Estonia’s economy unexpectedly grew last quarter, expanding 2.2 percent from a year earlier, as higher wood production and tax receipts outweighed weaker exports amid an escalating standoff between neighboring Russia and the U.S. and Europe over Ukraine.

“Our economy mostly operates inside the euro area, so we don’t need to be too concerned” about the euro’s exchange rate, Ligi said. For Estonia, “it would be better if other countries’ import demand was stronger,” he said.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said yesterday that deficit-fueled growth leads to economic decline, contrasting with calls from Italy and France for more leeway. Ligi said the signals from Berlin show the merits of continuing along the current policy path.

“The rules are there,” Ligi said. “Maybe there is a need for debate, but I hope there isn’t.”


Source: Bloomberg

[divider]INFOBOX: Jürgen Ligi [/divider]

Date and place of birth: 16 July 1959, Tartu

Vice-Chairman of the Reform Party Jürgen Ligi has been the Minister of Finance since July 2009. In the cabinet being established he has been nominated for the post of Minister of Finance.

Mr Ligi has been a member of the each of the last four Riigikogus. In March 2011 he was elected a member of the 12th Riigikogu. From 2005 to 2007 he was the Minister of Defence. Mr Ligi also has work experience in banking (as head of the Kuressaare branch of EVEA Bank) and he has been an economic adviser and consultant in a local authority and a business organisation.

Mr Ligi has a double degree from the University of Tartu: in 1982 he graduated with a degree in geography and in 1993 as a specialist in foreign economics. In 1996 he was awarded an MBA degree from the Estonian Business School. The most important of his free time activities is sport. He is the champion in triathlon in his age group in Estonia. Jürgen Ligi is married and has two sons.

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