President of Estonia critical of 'smug' Krugman

Fri, Jun 8, 2012, 01:00

THE PRESIDENT of Estonia took to Twitter yesterday to launch a bitter attack on economist Paul Krugman after the US Nobel laureate questioned the Baltic state’s economic recovery from a deep crisis.

“Let’s write about something we know nothing about be smug, overbearing patronizing: after all, they’re just wogs,” President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in a post. “Let’s sh*t on East Europeans: their English is bad, won’t respond actually do what they’ve agreed to reelect govts that are responsible,” he added later.

His office confirmed the tweets were from Mr Ilves. He was responding to a blog by Krugman on the New York Times website that called the 2008-2009 output drop in Estonia a “depression-level slump”, followed “by a still incomplete recovery”.

“Better than no recovery at all, obviously – but this is what passes for economic triumph?” Krugman wrote.

Mr Ilves’s office said in an emailed statement that the president’s comments were “a sincere and immediate defence of the major and often difficult efforts of Estonia to deal with the economic crisis and to stick to the rules adopted in the European Union”.

Mr Ilves was born in Stockholm in 1953 after Estonia was annexed by the former Soviet Union, and he was raised in the US. He has long been an eloquent spokesman for his nation, which joined the euro in 2011 and whose economy grew 4 per cent in the first quarter of this year. It has a tiny amount of sovereign debt, making it one of the fiscally soundest members of the euro. – (Reuters)