Estonian president on official state visit to Iceland

estonia-president-flag-littleThe global financial crisis has particularly hurt small countries like Estonia and Iceland, says Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the President of Estonia, whose official visit to Iceland began yesterday.

Ilves said that countries like Poland with its 40 million inhabitants have escaped from the recession rather easier due to their large internal markets. In this respect, small nations are in a tough position, he said. The interests of small nations are often overlooked when big countries and big banks take big decisions.

President Ilves was received yesterday by his Icelandic counterpart, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson at Bessasstadir, the head of state’s official residence.

The President will this afternoon visit the Hellisheidavirkjun geothermal power station, where energy and environmental matters will be discussed. Ilves is joined on his tour by the president of Estonia’s largest energy company, Eesti Energia, which provides Estonians with heat and electricity.

According to the company’s website, it has already been investing in the oil industry in Jordan and is now looking for other overseas investment opportunities. Eesti Energia remains a state-owned business, but its overseas projects need financing – which will probably be achieved by the sale of a third of the company into private ownership this month.