The pandemic melted 7 times the money that our compatriots abroad send to their relatives in Bulgaria. For the first 7 months of the year, they transferred only 98 million euros, according to BNB data. For comparison, in 2019 Bulgarians abroad sent home a record over 1 billion euros.
“What matters is the role that this money plays. A very common misconception is with the flows of foreign investment, which are most often invested in capital – buildings, machinery, etc. While emigrant money plays a much different role – a complementary income for many households, especially the poorer ones. They are most often spent on food, fuel, and the purchase of small appliances. Their contraction in the course of the crisis is not so much a blow to the system in the economy as it is to household budgets. This complementary income is disappearing and this leads to an expansion of the income gap between rich and poor,” commented Adrian Nikolov from the Institute for Market Economics on Radio Blagoevgrad.
According to Adrian Nikolov, this money could hardly be compensated in any other way, because it is not clear at the moment exactly where this money coming from abroad goes.
“What can happen is families who used to rely on such income will now turn to the social system. As tools such as heating aids and this type of schemes for more popular protection. What is more interesting to trace is how many people have returned from abroad at the entrance of the crisis itself. They are also a potential new workforce if they stay in Bulgaria” Nikolov explained.
The working Bulgarians in America, Germany and Spain sent the most money to their relatives.