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BNR: Romanians are 2-3 time poorer than Czechs or Hungarians, that is why they accept unemployment with difficulty

Marţi, 16 februarie 2010, 15:24 English | Business

The Romanian population is two to three times poorer in financial actives than the Czech or the Hungarian populations. This could explain why unemployment is so difficult to accept and the pensions are being debated so intensely, Romanian National Bank (BNR) chief economist Valentin Lazea claims.

"The fact that Romania hasn't got sufficient financial actives to which it can resort in times of financial stress explains why unemployment is so little accepted in Romania (...), why the retired are forever unhappy. When someone is poor, even a month of redundancy is a disaster", Valentin Lazea said, quoted by Romanian news agency Mediafax.

The BNR chief economist stated that financial actives are mainly triggered by small incomes, which in their turn are the result of low productivity, as a consequence of the educational system. According to him, his statements are backed by a January 2010 study published by Unicredit, indicating that in spite of Romania having a GDP almost equal to the Czech and Hungarian budgets, the households' financial actives are two to three times lower.

"This means that he population is two to three times poorer when it comes to financial actives. Usually, the population is a net creditor of the banking sector. If the population, the source of savings, is poor this means that the banking sector cannot produce money for crediting from internal resources", the BNR official added.

Households' financial actives are made-up 70% of deposits and foreign currency, but they also feature contributions to the pension funds, insurances, titles and shares.

Valentin Lazea claims that the population's financial actives tend to be even with the passives, which indicates that the Romanians have reached their credit loan limits:
"Beside the fact that they aren't many, the population's financial actives are even with the financial passives. It looks like the population has reached its debt limits. The crediting boom from 2005-2007 has taken the population to the debt limit. (...) One must understand why banks hesitate, why they asses ten times before they award a new credit".

According to the Unicredit study quoted by Valentin Lazea, the financial actives' share from the Romanian GDP will increase to 34.8% in 2010 and to 35.6% in 2011, but it will continue to remain one of the lowest on Central and Eastern Europe.

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