Three big economic success stories of the era up through 2007 were Spain, Ireland, and Finland. All three use the Euro as currency.
The Finnish economy was driven more by a single company (Nokia) than perhaps any other advanced economy in the world. Not too surprisingly, Nokia's dominance of one of the world's most competitive industries — cellphones — didn't last. Competitors sprung up at the low end, while Apple's introduction of the iPhone in June 2007 increasingly absorbed huge dollops of profit out of the high end. Finland's economy recovered only moderately from the 2008 crash, and is in trouble again today
With Nokia's rise during 1990s, Finland rapidly recovered from deep recession and become one of the foremost knowledge economies in the world, said a report published by ETLA in March.
During Nokia's prime years 1998-2007, the company contributed a quarter of the growth of the Finnish economy. It created nearly a fifth of Finland's exports and paid as much as 23% of all Finnish corporation tax revenue.
However, its descent since 2008 has devastated Finland's economy. Nearly one-third of the over 8% drop in the Finnish GDP in 2009 was attributable to Nokia, and now the company's share of contribution in Finland's GDP has fallen to virtually zero, said the report.
It's kind of like if your national economy were built around Blackberry.
All three countries were hammered hard in 2008 with unemployment hitting 8.7% in Finland by January 2010, versus 13.1% in Ireland and 19.2% in Spain. ( (All figures from a graph offered by Google from Eurostat data. Warning: unemployment can be defined differently in different countries.)
As of May 2013, unemployment in Finland was 8.4% and rising; in Ireland 13.6%; in Spain 26.9%. Each country's situation is unique and complex, but it's worth considering degree of enthusiasm for immigration during the 2000s bubble.
Back then, Spain was celebrated for its rapid influx of immigrants, as, to perhaps a lesser extent, was Ireland. Finland, although it has a gigantic border with a much poorer country, tended to lag the rest of Western Europe in immigration. It's cold, dark in winter, far away, speaks an unusual language, has a militarized border, and enforces work permit laws efficiently.
This may have something to do with how much more stable Finland's unemployment rate has been despite the decline of Nokia.