Severe budget cuts cut public services, further increased unemployment and hit poorer sections hardest.
It is estimated that GDP, which fell by 15 per cent in 2009 and grew only a little last year from the low base, will take until 2014 to recover to the level of 2007, before the financial crisis.
Real wages have been falling continuously for several years now, in an internal devaluation that reduces the living standards of the 'lucky' ones who do manage to retain their jobs.
So the picture provided by the apparently bustling activity in the centre of Tallinn is at best a partial one, which does not take into account that economic deterioration that is actually being felt by most of the population.
But Estonia is the success story!
Image: The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn's largest and grandest orthodox cupola cathedral.
Image Courtesy: Flickr Commons