The President of Estonia Rips Paul Krugman

The president of Estonia attacked Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman on Twitter calling him “smug, overbearing & patronizing,” in response to a short post on Estonia’s economic recovery.

Krugman’s 67-word entry, entitled “Estonian Rhapsody,” questioned the merits of using Estonia as a “poster child for austerity defenders.” He included a chart that he says showed “significant but still incomplete recovery” after a deep economic slump.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves responded to Krugman in a series of tweets, taking offense to Krugman’s tone and writing.

“We’re just dumb & silly East Europeans. Unenlightened. Someday we too will understand,” he tweeted. “Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a “wasteland”. Must be a Princeton vs Columbia thing.”

In 2011 Estonia became the latest country to join the eurozone, and has recently been heralded by some as an austerity success story. That year, it clocked a faster economic growth pace than any other country in the European Union, at 7.6 percent. The country is also the only EU member with a budget surplus, and had the lowest public debt in 2011, 6 percent of GDP. Fitch affirmed its A+ credit rating last week.

Ilves, a strong austerity advocate, told Bloomberg News in May that the EU should implement austerity in order to boost economic expansion. “You can achieve growth through austerity. Estonia has done that,” he said during the interview. “Growth policy — that doesn’t make sense to me.”

Krugman has yet to reply to Hendrik’s harsh words.

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1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Lee Peck.


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