Part of complete coverage on
Estonian PM: Country asks why we help 'rich Greece'
March 29, 2012 -- Updated 1712 GMT (0112 HKT)
- Estonia's PM says there are concerns at home about having to bail out out "rich Greece"
- But he says the benefits of joining the Eurozone are obvious
- Estonia adopted the Euro in 2010, becoming the first ex-Soviet state to do so
- Last year it was the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone
London (CNN) -- The leader of the eurozone's fastest growing economy says he has faced broad public opposition at home to bailing out "rich Greece people who are always drinking the ouzo."
Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told CNN that many in his country had questioned why they should bear the burden of bailing out Greece -- a larger, wealthier country.
"It is very difficult to explain to our poor Estonian people why we have to help rich Greece people who are always drinking the ouzo and dancing the syrtaki," he said. "This is public opinion," he hastened to add. "In fact, they are hard-working people in Greece."
It is very difficult to explain to our poor Estonian people why we have to help rich Greece people who are always drinking the ouzo
Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister of Estonia
In January 2011, Estonia became the first ex-Soviet state to start using the single European currency, joining the eurozone as Europe's debt crisis was deepening.
Shouldering the financial strain of the European Financial Stability Facility had been "very unpopular" among Estonians, said Ansip. "They would like to get higher salaries today, right now here in Estonia -- they cannot understand why we have to have all this."
Nevertheless, joining the eurozone had been the right decision, he said. "All people they can understand how beneficial euro was for Estonia," he said.
Although his country suffered from high unemployment and inflation, the euro made Estonia attractive for foreign direct investment, creating new jobs and export volumes. "Europe is definitely supporting trade," he said. "Seventy per cent of exports are going to other EU member states."
Stagnant rates of economic growth in Europe were a concern, he said. "But ... our main export partners are Sweden and Finland, and those economies are doing pretty well."
He added the Greek rescue package was a loan, "not a bail out." "They have to pay back those (loans)," he said. "And they also have to pay interest."
Estonia, a Baltic state of about 1.3 million people, joined the European Union in 2004. It is the fourth-smallest member of the eurozone.
Part of complete coverage on
April 12, 2013 -- Updated 1246 GMT (2046 HKT)
Turkey is a "source of inspiration" to show how Islam and democracy can go hand-in-hand, the country's deputy prime minister has told CNN.
April 5, 2013 -- Updated 1257 GMT (2057 HKT)
Bright, shiny and emblazoned with names like Ferrari and Lamborghini -- these brakes are almost as stylish as the cars they're hidden within.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
EasyJet's new London to Moscow route is an opportunity to attract more business travelers, according to the low cost airline's chief executive.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
If you're a business traveller in Europe, you'll no doubt have complained at length about the regions' airlines, be it the cost of a plane ticket or the quality of the food or the delays.
March 8, 2013 -- Updated 1032 GMT (1832 HKT)
European demands for the steel industry to cap emissions by 2020 are "unachievable" with current technology, according to an ArcelorMittal executive.
March 7, 2013 -- Updated 1851 GMT (0251 HKT)
At Oknoplast's production site outside Krakow, Poland, windows of all shapes and sizes are stacked up ready for delivery.
February 22, 2013 -- Updated 1647 GMT (0047 HKT)
We receive them almost on a daily basis; text messages alerting us that our taxi is outside or our dentist appointment is tomorrow.
February 22, 2013 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
What happens when you mix detergent, cosmetics and a bucket load of adhesives? You get a multi-billion dollar German corporation called Henkel.
February 7, 2013 -- Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)
It is said that the devil would never dare cross the River Tamar into Cornwall for fear of ending up as a filling in a Cornish pasty. The legend, it seems, could just be true.
February 7, 2013 -- Updated 1839 GMT (0239 HKT)
Europe needs to cut back on its red tape and be more competitive if it is to succeed on a global stage, according to Diageo's chief executive.
January 17, 2013 -- Updated 1735 GMT (0135 HKT)
Booms, busts and bubbles are all jargon you might associate with today's troubled Irish economy. But now you can add "beans" to that list.
January 17, 2013 -- Updated 1734 GMT (0134 HKT)
Multinational companies see Ireland as the "gateway" to investing in Europe, says the boss of the country's largest food company.
January 25, 2013 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
UK Prime Minister David Cameron's voiced his intentions to let the British people vote on Europe. The mayor of London says it's all part of democracy.
January 11, 2013 -- Updated 1326 GMT (2126 HKT)
It started with one man peddling lavender and rosemary oil at local markets -- now it's a business valued at $4.8 billion.
January 10, 2013 -- Updated 1845 GMT (0245 HKT)
Jaeger LeCoultre CEO Jerome Lambert talks about the benefits of being part of a larger group.
December 27, 2012 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest explores how European business leaders have dealt with the financial climate in 2012.
December 27, 2012 -- Updated 1451 GMT (2251 HKT)
CNN's Richard Quest looks at how European businesses have performed amid a cold climate of austerity.
Click here to read more of the top business stories from across the continent brought to you by the Marketplace Europe team.
Today's five most popular stories