The president of Estonia chewed out Paul Krugman on Wednesday, using Twitter to call the Nobel Prize-winning economist "smug, overbearing & patronizing," in response to a short post on Estonia's economic recovery.
Krugman's 67-word entry, entitled "Estonian Rhapsody," questioned the merits of using Estonia as a "poster child for austerity defenders." He included a chart that, in his words, showed "significant but still incomplete recovery" after a deep economic slump.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves responded to Krugman in a series of outraged tweets, taking offense to Krugman's tone and writing that Krugman didn't know what he was talking about.
"We're just dumb & silly East Europeans. Unenlightened. Someday we too will understand," he tweeted. "Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a "wasteland". Must be a Princeton vs Columbia thing."
Estonia, which in 2011 became the latest country to join the eurozone, has been heralded by some as an austerity success story. That year, it clocked a faster economic growth pace than any other country in the European Union, at 7.6 percent. Estonia is also the only EU member with a budget surplus, and had the lowest public debt in 2011 -- 6 percent of GDP. Fitch affirmed its A+ credit rating last week.
Ilves, a strong austerity advocate, told Bloomberg News in May that the EU should implement austerity in order to boost economic expansion. “You can achieve growth through austerity. Estonia has done that,” he said during the interview. “Growth policy -- that doesn’t make sense to me.”
Krugman has yet to reply to Hendrik's harsh words.
Read the tweets below: