PM of EU state says complaining has made the country poorer

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Estonia’s economy has been among the worst performers in the EU, a circumstance Kaja Kallas partly attributes to citizens overly focusing on their grievances

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has urged her country’s citizens to complain less, adding that an excessive focus on grievances has contributed to making the Baltic nation’s economy among the worst performers across the EU. 

“An entrepreneur once said that we are making ourselves poor. I would try to avoid this,” Kallas said last week in an interview with the Estonian financial tabloid Aripaev.

Among the other factors having a negative impact on Estonia’s economy, the prime minister listed an array of external circumstances, including the economy’s heavy dependence on the Scandinavian countries and the higher interest rates in the EU.    

The Estonian economy saw a quarter-on-quarter drop of 3% and year-on-year decline of 3.9% in the final three months of 2023, according to official data reported earlier this month. The country has also been battling inflation rates that have remained well above the Eurozone average.

In January, Swedbank issued a gloomy outlook for Estonia, saying that the country’s GDP won’t exceed the 2021 reading over the next three years. The lender added that the Estonian economy declined by 3.4% in constant prices terms in 2023 but is expected to return to growth of around 0.3% during the current year.

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