Greece’s Woes May Give Pause to Euro Zone Candidates

The tiny Baltic states have pursued closer integration with Europe with enormous zeal. But the price of monetary union may be giving them pause, The New York Times reported. Economists and ordinary citizens alike are watching the protests rumbling through the streets of Athens and the slow response to Greece’s problems coming out of Brussels. “Countries like Estonia and Latvia were once desperate to get in,” said Alf Vanags, director of the Baltic International Center for Economic Policy Studies in Riga. “The euro is not looking so attractive now.” Latvia has been on track to adopt the euro in 2014, as has Lithuania, with Estonia eyeing its inclusion by 2011. These governments have reason to fear that, like Athens, they will be caught in a vise: unable to pay for expensive social programs demanded by citizens while staying within the euro zone’s debt limits. Read more.