In diesen turbulenten Medienzeiten ist es manchmal nützlich, das Ganze von aussen zu betrachten. Zum Beispiel mit Hilfe der Betrachtungen von Mart Laar vor wenigen Tagen im Brüssel Journal, er war Ministerpräsident in Estland. Er berichtet dort in einem Interview über seine Entscheidungen als Politker und über seine angeblichen Unkenntnisse in einigen Bereichen. Erstaunlich mit welcher Unverfrohrenheit er behauptet, von Wirtschaft keine Ahnung zu haben und doch vor zehn Jahren die richtigen Rückschlüsse gezogen zu haben. Der erste Gedanke zu seinen Äußerungen: Sowas undiplomatisches kann sich hierzulande kein deutscher Politiker leisten. Hier ein Auszug:
Paul Belien: You turned Estonia into an economic miracle model. Can you tell us how you did it? You are not an economist. What did you do? Where did you get the inspiration from?
Mart Laar: I am not an economist. I am a practical man. I had read only one book on economics. This was Milton Friedman’s “Free to choose.” I must say that to my mind all the ideas which were presented there looked to be very practical. I was not too informed. I did not know that not many countries or rather no country at all had ever used the same policies. It looked very logical to me. Hence I introduced these things. They have worked very well in Estonia and are now being followed in lots of other countries.
PB: How was the economic situation in Estonia when you came into power?
ML: We were completely down. In 1992, the year when I became Prime Minister, we had an inflation of more than 1,000%. We had a drop in the economy of more than 30%. We were totally dependent on Russia. Most of our economy was state owned. Food was rationed. There was no gasoline, which means no cars in the streets. If I look back now and see the traffic congestion on Estonian streets I sometimes think that perhaps it was not such a bad time when there were no cars at all.
PB: You came up with this revolutionary idea of the flat tax. You were actually the first country in Europe to introduce this. Where did you get this revolutionary idea?
ML: This was also from the Milton Friedman book, but I really did not know that I was the only one to try it. It just looked so logical to introduce this, so this was one of the first reforms that we did. It was enforced on 1 January 1994.
PB: Did you have a hard time convincing your party members in Estonia to accept this brand new idea?
ML: Yes, indeed. I must say, however, that it did not take too long. We passed flat tax legislation in 1993 in order for it to become effective on 1 January of the next year. But, yes, sometimes to convince your own party is the most difficult part. When we introduced it, it was a highly unpopular idea. It was attacked by all the specialists. Most economists said that I was completely mad and that I did not know anything about economics. To say that this man really does not know anything about economics, was actually true.
Das Beispiel "Flat Tax" soll hier einmal im Hintergrund bleiben. Erstaunlich finde ich, wieviel Spielraum in Osteuropa für neue Politik vorhanden war, während wir mit Millimeterarbeit leben müssen. Egal wer regiert.