Neivelt: Estonians are not yet spoiled by the good life

15.12.2011, 09:15

Estonian banker and thinker Indrek Neivelt believes that although these are globally challenging times, Estonia has an excellent chance to come out of it stronger thanks to its flexibility.

“When times are changing, it is not the strongest who survive in the nature, but the most adaptable. If we think to our Soviet past and the last 20 years one could say that we have worked hard and are well prepared for surviving a crisis,” said Neivelt.

He adds that Estonia’s big advantage in comparison with Scandinavians is that it lacks strong trade unions that kill flexibility.

Neivelt said that another strength is the proximity to Sweden and Finland. “Swedes have two major advantages. Their financing system is very simple: they receive deposits and issue loans. And they can print money when they want. Their state financing is in order, banks are doing OK and if there is a problem, they would simply print more money.”

When asked what Estonia should do if eurozone collapses, Neivelt said that small must stick together and suggested that Finland would be the most logical ally.

Speaking of the future of the European Union, Neivelt said that in its present form the EU  has no future.

“I was very positive about the euro until the spring of 2009. Then I saw that countries no longer had any gunpowder left. The EU is living beyond its means and this could greatly affect the welfare of Western Europe.”