Uns a entrar, outros a ameaçar sair. E vão 17 países a aderir ao Euro.
“(…) Today, as we look forward to the introduction of the euro in Estonia, I would like to point out two key aspects of the country’s experience on its road to adopting the euro. The Estonian experience may encourage some euro area countries to tackle the pressing need for adjustment that they currently face and inspire Estonia, as well as current and other prospective euro area countries, to contribute to a sustainable functioning of Economic and Monetary Union in the years ahead.
The first key aspect refers to the importance of maintaining a sound fiscal record. Even during exceptional times, Estonia has demonstrated a strong commitment to maintaining sound national fiscal policies, which are a crucial element of the policy framework for Economic and Monetary Union. There has been a clear consensus in Estonia that fiscal consolidation should never be compromised. Indeed, despite the significant degree of uncertainty about the recovery of both external and domestic demand, the Estonian authorities implemented significant fiscal consolidation measures in 2009. This was a strong advantage for Estonia in its efforts to join the euro area. Indeed, the country’s fiscal policy record since 1992 supports the view that prudence is a key element of its fiscal policy.
The second key aspect of Estonia’s experience refers to the importance of both the effective prevention and, if necessary, decisive correction of economic imbalances. With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that Estonia’s overall policy stance should have been tighter in order to contain demand pressures and the emergence of significant macroeconomic imbalances during the time of very fast growth. This is particularly true over the period from 2005 to 2007, when the overheating pressures became most apparent. Efforts to reduce wage growth and contain rapid credit growth during that period also proved largely ineffective. In the end, the macroeconomic imbalances accumulated by the Estonian economy were quite significant, and the magnitude and speed of the adjustment that followed were indeed dramatic.
However, the Estonian economy, and the citizens that support it, adapted rather quickly to the new economic environment, proving a remarkable capacity for adjustment. This speaks for the flexibility of Estonia’s economy and the “alertness” of its people. The new economic environment required prompt, determined action and the adoption of difficult policy measures. The implementation of such measures contributed to Estonia’s prudent fiscal record and the rapid unwinding of the external and internal imbalances that had built up during the boom years. Competitiveness is gradually being restored and the current and capital account balance has recorded a surplus since the beginning of 2009. The adjustment of nominal wages has been, and will continue to be, an essential element of the gradual correction of competitiveness losses and the return to sustainable output growth. Developments in the public sector, where nominal wages declined by around 10% in 2009, contributed to the adjustment of wages in the economy as a whole. Sustainable wage dynamics, with increases in line with productivity progress, will continue to be crucial to restoring competitiveness and maintaining a low inflation environment. (…)”