Estonia, Iceland wooed by E.U. despite economic troubles

A large Euro symbol in front of the European Central Bank building in Frankfurt, Germany.


Steve Chiotakis: European leaders meeting in Brussels have moved toward inviting in two more countries in. But it's not exactly a recipe for good health. Christopher Werth reports.

Christopher Werth: Estonia has inflation problems, and Iceland's financial system has collapsed. So why is the eurozone inviting those countries -- and those headaches -- to its ranks, when existing members like Greece and Spain have troubles of their own?

Cinzia Alcidi is with the Center for European Policy Studies. She says Estonia has kept its public debt to a minimum -- something the rest of Europe has failed to do.

Cinzia Alcidi: I see it largely as a political message, really the fact the eurozone is still open, and Estonia, it made an adjustment that many countries in the eurozone could dream of. This is the sort of adjustment that Greece should do.

Alcidi says in addition, since the economies of Estonia and Iceland are so small, they have little risk of adding to problems that the eurozone already faces. And expanding now, in the face of a crisis, could help restore confidence in the battered currency.

In London, I'm Christopher Werth for Marketplace.


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