An Estonian Public Broadcasting news article about the death of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher noted her efforts to help Estonia’s early independent government break with Soviet-era policies. It also included the following:
Of the three, it was Thatcher’s economic policies in particular that were often cited by Mart Laar, the country’s prime minister who came to power after the first post-independence parliamentary elections, as the blueprint for his free-market reforms.
In 2010, Laar told the Freakonomics Radio podcast: “The flat tax I got on my first meeting with Margaret Thatcher, who I admired very much and who was a great admirer of Milton Friedman. I met her first when I had been prime minister I think for some months and so on, and when I told her what I am planning to do, she looked at me with these big eyes and said ‘you are one brave young man.’ And then a little bit introduced me on the realities of the Western world on which I was not very well informed. But I didn’t stop.”
Freakonomics podcast listeners may recall that Laar appeared on one of our earliest podcasts “What Would the World Look Like if Economists Were in Charge?“