Romanians Wait for Cash Ahead of Shutdown
By Alexandru Alexe
The Associated Press, Tuesday, June 28, 2005; 11:45 AM
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romanians waited in line Tuesday to withdraw cash at bank offices and automated teller machines across the country, with just a few days to go before a currency revaluation which is expected to shut down financial institutions for several days.
Starting on July 1, Romania is dropping four zeros off its national currency, the leu (plural lei), which after years of high inflation currently trades at 29,809 lei to the U.S. dollar and 36,050 lei to the euro.
Banks have warned customers to withdraw plenty of cash as they will be closed for business starting Wednesday until Monday.
Government tax offices also announced they would be closed until Monday, as did the drivers' and car registration offices.
Because of the bank closures, stores have announced that no debit or credit card transactions will be possible starting on Thursday.
Supermarkets and cash and carry stores also were overflowing with customers, but most stores said they would be open for business as usual over the weekend.
"People who are uninformed and our grandparents who lived through other revaluations are scared that they won't be able to change their old money," said Remus Mancea, a 30-year-old salesman for a dairy company in northwest Romania.
In the Communist past, people could change only a limited amount of money during revaluations, but this time the national bank has assured Romanians they can change their money without limits at any point in the future.
After more than a decade of high inflation, many Romanians now keep their savings in foreign currencies. Inflation dropped for the first time last year to 9 percent, the first single digit figure since 1989.
Analysts did not expect a major economic upheaval in the long run over the planned change of money.
"Most people got used to the idea of new money and won't change their buying habits," said Jianu Lazar, a project manager with Raiffeisen Bank in Bucharest. "The only significant impact will be for cheap products that will appear cheaper, and tips are also expected to grow," he added.
The average monthly wage in Romania is 7.4 million lei after taxes.
© 2005 The Associated Press
[NOTE from Patrick Bellringer: This is a huge deflation move by Romania which will greatly benefit the people by increasing their buying power. By dropping four zeros off its national currency the current rate of 29,809 Lei to one U.S. Dollar now becomes 3 Lei to one U.S. Dollar. The value of 29,809 Lei was worth one U.S. Dollar, but now it is worth 9,936 U.S. Dollars!
The ratio was 36,050 Lei to one Euro dollar, which now becomes 3.6 Lei to one Euro. So, 36,050 Lei is now worth 10,013 Euros! This does look like a sign of the coming worldwide changes of NESARA.]
This is a clear indication that NESARA has already happened in Romania, and they are doing the currency exchange and the repricing of their money like we will do once NESARA happens in North America.
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