Estonia's President melts down over Paul Krugman article

"Let's sh*t on East Europeans"

Paul Krugman really managed to rile up the President of Estonia yesterday.

The Nobel Laureate was writing about how the country, as pretty much the only practitioner of austerity in Europe which isn't back in recession, is the new poster-child for defenders of the practice.

Citing this chart:

He wrote:

So, a terrible — Depression-level — slump, followed by a significant but still incomplete recovery. Better than no recovery at all, obviously — but this is what passes for economic triumph?

Which rather annoyed President Toomas Ilves:

And with that, President Ilves turned his baseball cap backwards, got on his skateboard, and kickflipped into the sunset.

It does seem like someone has a sore spot about their country's growth, and it's not Paul Krugman. Estonia doth protest too much. That said, Ilves is undoubtedly the world leader who is most adept at using twitter for what it was built for: pointless squabbling and passive aggression.

Sadly, his fixed term comes to an end in 2016, which means we won't get to see those diplomacy skills on a world stage when Estonia takes the rotating EU presidency in 2018.

Estonian President Toomas Ilves and his natty bow-tie. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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