Romania’s foreign debt is much higher, says Liviu Voinea

Romania's foreign debt is not so low as people think it is and, in late 2007, it stood at 57 billion euros, Liviu Voinea, executive manager of the Applied Economics Group (GEA), told a retail banking conference on Tuesday.
He made it clear that this level of the total foreign debt, which was not circulated in public, also includes, in keeping with the standards in the field, in-house loans worth 11 billion euros and is indicated by the official data on the site of the National Bank of Romania. Out of this total amount, more than a half is short-term debt and 80 percent is private debt.
According to the above-mentioned economic analyst, this level of the total foreign debt is a factor of concern for Romania's financial stability. One of these factors is, according to Voinea, the lowering of people's available income against the background of the slowdown in the growth of the total income and of the increase in the cost of credits, which might lead to the decrease in the consumption capacity, the main source of Romania's economic growth.
The savings ratio too went down to 13 percent as against 15 percent four years ago, a level at which one cannot even dream of a stable economy, and the solvency rate in the banking system decreased a lot, to 12.75 percent at the end of 2007 as against 21 percent in 2005 or 18 percent in 2006.
"It goes without saying that the world financial crisis will not affect Romania as the Romanians do not eat, do not drive cars and do not make loans and Romania does not export anything to the euro zone," said the GEA representative ironically, who admitted, on the other hand, that he was one of the pessimistic economic analysts.
He also said that, unlike the situation in the 90s, when the financial crisis in Asia did not affect Romania, now Romania had a liberalized a capital account.

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