Estonia. At the beginning of the year, 89-year-old wealthy Estonian businessman Harry Männil died in Costa Rica. He was charged with collaboration with Gestapo and participation in the murder of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Estonia during the Second World War. Prosecutors in Estonia had written off the suspicions against Männil in 2005, but he was still wanted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Human was an adviser to the first Estonian government.
After a GDP minus of just over 14 percent in 2009, the downturn for Estonia’s economy continued during the first quarter of the year. The unemployment rate was also 19.8 per cent, the highest figure the country has had since independence in 1991. But the economy reversed during the second quarter with growth and decline in unemployment.
The budget deficit, which had stayed at 1.7 percent the year before, remained at a low level and the central government debt was only 7.2 percent of GDP. This meant that Estonia received the EU Commission’s clear sign in May in the Euro co-operation at New Year 2011. The message was confirmed at the EU summit in June and by the eurozone finance ministers in July. Estonia was the only country outside the euro zone that during the year met all the criteria for euro cooperation.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Estonia has a population of 1.325 million (2019). Estonia’s currency had long had a fixed exchange rate against the euro, 15.65 kroner for one euro, a rate that would also apply at the time of the transition.
Following the large credit losses in the Baltic countries in 2009, the Swedish banks, which dominate the credit market in Estonia, experienced a turnaround at the beginning of the year. The real estate market had reached the bottom and a certain rise in house prices appeared.
Despite the economic downturn, the effects of the crisis continued. In October, a 150-year-old industrial tradition broke into the grave when the Swedish-owned textile factory Kreenholm in Narva went bankrupt. Kreenholm, one of the Union’s largest industries with over 11,000 employees during the Soviet era, was bought by Borås Wäfveri during the privatizations in independent Estonia, but has since been out-competed by the textile production in the Asian low-wage countries.
Ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in early 2011, a leadership battle was fought within the opposition party Social Democrats. Sven Mikser, 36, was elected new party leader at the congress in October. Mixer set the goal of building up the Social Democrats in order to be able to form government in the 2015 elections.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 41,650,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||4.90%|
|GDP per capita||$ 31,700|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||17.5%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||3.20%|
|Investment volume||21.8% of GDP|
|National debt||9.00% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 389,800,000|