Prof. Boyan Duranchev: 'Bulgaria Is In a Severe Demographic Catastrophe'
2.5 million Bulgarians live in severe material deprivation, according to Eurostat's analysis of social trends and poverty in 2016. What does this mean in practice? This category includes people who cannot afford to use a few basic things that, according to the criteria for a normal life, are fundamental in Europe. For example, they cannot meet unforeseen expenses, to pay bills or afford holiday during the summer. What caused this trend and how can it be reversed? The subject commented the economist Prof. Boyan Duranchev during an interview on ‘’Good Morning, Bulgaria’’, FOCUS News Agency.
The economy exists, so that people live better. In Bulgaria, it turns out that people live in order to operate the economy and to keep the so-called minimal salary. But as far as the facts are concerned, they show that Bulgaria is really on the verge of a catastrophe. When a person cannot meet their basic needs, there is no reproduction of the population.
If we move forward, in 2050 we will be 5.8 million, in 2070 - 5 million 130 thousand. These are our statistics. As the weather forecasts for three days are fairly accurate, so are the forecasts for the population. Ie. the economy is not working for the population, but the population is working for the economy. We are in a severe demographic catastrophe and retired genocide. This is the first conclusion that can be made. But the second is that we not only have a quantitative reduction in the Bulgarian population, but we have a deterioration in the quality of what we get. This is not a secret for schools and universities. The third is unemployment. It also leads to misery.
In 2016, we have 250,000 unemployed people in the working population - 7.6%. The people at risk in Bulgaria are most - 40%, while in Romania - 37%, in the European Union - 23%. And of course, the payment. In Bulgaria – EUR 235, in neighboring Romania - 40 euros more. The minimum wage in Greece is EUR 684 currently, in Germany – EUR 1500, in Luxembourg – EUR 2000. We look like it is not convenient to say this word, but it is still right, Bulgaria is like a suburb, like a colony of the great, glorious European Union. The worst is in the sixth indicator - the actual consumption of a person. And here comes the serious, catastrophic situation.
For example, in 1989 the Bulgarians consumed 78 kilograms of meat per year, now - 46. The same ratio is for milk and dairy products: 192 liters then, now they are 60 liters. Eggs: then - 255 pieces, now - 135 pieces. Fruits and vegetables: then - 200 pounds, now - no matter how weird it is, to 130 pounds. The only indicator where there is some movement is in passenger cars: 40 cars for 100 families, now – 52 cars.
In Bulgaria, labor productivity on average, compared to the average of the European Union in some places, is 2 to 4 times lower than in the European Union. Note that, however, we have too low minimum wage. Ie. Bulgaria is the realm of market populism and capitalist liberalism. And the well-known Ginny rate of disposable income shows that Bulgaria is one of the three European countries with the highest inequality, given that Bulgaria is the poorest country. Ie. where capitalist liberalism and market populism dominate - the market must be left to work, there is nothing to pay, and so on - this model while reigning in Bulgaria, Bulgarians, the majority of them 40, 50, 60% will be systematically poor and people at risk.
Such large disproportions, which exist between the poorest and the richest, show that the mechanisms of distribution and redistribution are extremely erroneous. Me and my colleagues think the fact that with this model of taxation, with this model of redistribution, with this model of leaving everything in the marketplace and playing it, everything can happen and it will lead to a complete catastrophe.
Unfortunately, I am not optimistic, because those who are about to manage are typical representatives of the center-right. In that case, it is necessary to manage with quite radical measures, such as Bernie Sanders in America or Europe, Corbin, or other models that have been tested and which show that they work better. Otherwise, we can safely say that Bulgaria will really become territory and nothing more.
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