ReceptionFulfilment of the Maastricht criteria, finishing of accession negotiations with the OECD, the first signs of improvement in exports, the first signs of possible economic growth and a better image of Estonia are the positive things to come out of an otherwise difficult 2009 according to Marina Kaljurand, the Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Today we can see that the political and financial decisions taken in Estonia were right, but nothing has come for free – it's come at a significant cost," said Kaljurand at a reception of the Finnish, Swedish, Danish Chambers of Commerce in Estonia and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) Office in Estonia in February. "Cuts in wages, cuts in personnel, the high unemployment rate and lost jobs are all personal tragedies, and there is uncertainty about the future."

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