Bulgaria Gets EUR 30 M in Migrant Remittances in Feb 2012
Bulgarians living abroad wired a total of BGN 62 M (some EUR 30 M) to their relatives living in Bulgaria in February 2012, according to data of the Bulgarian National Bank.
In January, the Bulgarian migrant remittances reached EUR 57 M. Over the past three years, the migrant remittances poured into the Bulgarian economy reached some EUR 2.3 B. In 2011, they amounted to EUR 770 M, nearing about 2/3 of the FDI in the country, and growing by 9% year-on-year.
The actual remittances are said to be higher because the banking statistics only account for the official money transfers, the Novinar daily points out in an article, stressing that Bulgarians abroad usually wire their relatives the largest sums of money in May because of the school-ending proms. March, June, July, and September (the month when children in Bulgaria start school) are the other top months for money transfers from abroad.
The papers cites data of the Open Society Institute claiming that over 330 000 Bulgarian citizens have emigrated to work abroad for a period longer than 3 months, with Germany, Italy, Spain, and Greece being the most popular destinations.
The greatest factors in choosing a country for migrant workers are said to be the language, the availability of friends or relatives there, as well as the pay for unskilled labor.
The same data indicates that about two-thirds of those leaving Bulgaria as migrant laborers are ethnic Roma, rather than ethnic Bulgarians, who made the bulk of the migrants until recently.
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