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Tuesday 02.09.2014 | Name days: Lizete, Elīza, Zete

Finnish Minister: I would rather like to be Latvian than Greek

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Alexander Stubb

“Latvia serves as an example of a country that has managed to get out of a highly problematic situation. Those countries that put off austerity measures do not do the rigth thing. They must be carried out now and fast, because it is the only way to regain market confidence, followed by stability and growth,” says Alexander Stubb, Finnish European Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister.

“It is, of course, nice to live in a country that is seen as a model. It is exactly how many view Latvia and Finland today. We have different past, not quite the same systems, but similar problems. I would rather like to be Latvian than Greek,” he told the newspaper Latvijas Avize.

“Last year you were the fastest growing economy in the European Union. I think you have done a good and a responsible thing. You were at the edge of an abyss, just like Finland in the early 90s. Austerity measures were the only way out. I think that in this part of Europe, be it the Baltic or Nordic countries, people understand that you cannot live beyond your means,” Stubb says.

Asked whether new shocks could hit the European Union amid the Greek crisis, the politician points out that one can never know for sure what to expect.

“I would rather say that we have gone through three alarming years and now we are experiencing three relatively quiet months. But I do not think we should relax yet. We have adopted rules governing expenses, we have built a firewall around Greece and many European countries have carried out really tough austerity measures. Latvia is a great example of this. You implemented the most stringent austerity measures but still turned out to be the fastest growing economy last year. There are indeed many good news but it is still too early to celebrate,” he says.

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  1. Nikos says:

    He is mad.Does he know how is life in that country.Better live in Greece in spite of crisis.

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  2. Against hypocrisy says:

    He’s doing politics, he knows that life is quite better in Greece but he want to support Latvian government and its policies, those that make Finland richer and Latvia poorer. We could compare the per capita income of Latvia (12,226 US$) and Greece (27,875 US$)…But of course he would have more than average income… So maybe he would understand better if we remember him Latvian life expectancy for men (67 years old) and Greek expectancy (77 y.o.), I’m pretty sure that definitely he wouldn’t want to be Latvian, hypocrite.

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  3. Maedhros says:

    The only things Greece has better than Latvia today are the weather and the landscapes.

    None of them is their merit!

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  4. Ray says:

    Now life in Latvia, especially for politics is very good. Pensioners and people, who don’t know Latvian language have big difficulties, because pensions are small and you should now elementary Latvian to find normal job. But in fact situation is much better than in 2009. And, for my opinion there is no way to compare life in such a different countries..

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