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How Innovation Lifts Estonia Into Europe’s Big Leagues


Technological innovation and the financial crisis could force long-held European attitudes to change and push bigger European countries to drop their "smug" approach to smaller states, the president of Estonia said Tuesday.

"I think between the crisis and the innovation, the old mental geography of Europe has to end," President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in an interview ahead of the London Cyber conference, which opened Tuesday. "This kind of smug, patronizing attitude that countries like mine experience, when in fact we are far more innovative than many old countries."

He tells a story about an encounter earlier in his career. "I remember when I was Minister of Foreign Affairs, a fairly senior person from an "old" European country came to see the foreign ministry.

"His jaw dropped to see all the innovation we had made in technology. He said he was going to send a delegation right away to see what we were doing.

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