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Estonians sceptical about euro's benefits: poll

13 October 2011, 15:58 CET

(TALLINN) - Estonia's eurozone entry has done the currency bloc's newest member state more harm than good, 31 percent of respondents said in a poll released Thursday.

Only 17 percent thought it had been purely beneficial.

And 55 percent said they would oppose joining the eurozone if the issue was on the table now: only 37 percent were still favoured membership.

The results came in a survey of 998 people carried out by leading pollsters Turu-Uuringute AS in the second half of September for Estonia's small but vocal eurosceptic movement.

The pollsters also asked about Estonia's participation in a crucial eurozone rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), approved by its lawmakers on September 29.

Only 28 percent were in favour, 58 percent against, and 14 percent had no view.

"The results show what we all knew," leading Estonian eurosceptic Anti Poolamets told AFP.

"People here are against the poorest eurozone member, Estonia, joining the EFSF and paying our money to much richer states for their mistakes."

The goal of the revamped, 440-billion-euro ($600 billion) EFSF is to provide additional tools to help prevent the spread of the eurozone's debt crisis.

Estonia will have to provide guarantees of 1.995 billion euros: a third of its annual budget.

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