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The fall of the Turkish lira, a boon for the Greek and Bulgarian neighbors


Nov 27, 2021

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Since the start of the year, the Turkish currency has lost 40% of its value against the dollar. Galloping inflation which undermines the finances of the Turks but which is perceived as a boon for the Greek and Bulgarian neighbors. Many of them now cross the border to shop. Reporting.

It became a habit. On Friday, November 26, hundreds of cars registered abroad crossed the border in Edirne, in northwestern Turkey, a region bordering Bulgaria and Greece. All came to take advantage of a further fall in the Turkish lira to come and do their shopping.

“It’s really cheaper than in Bulgaria, four times cheaper even”, testifies Ayhan, to France 24. We buy clothes, we fill up with gasoline, and we go back to Bulgaria “.

“In Greece, we don’t have big salaries. Buying here is a very good opportunity for us,” said another family, who drove four hours to reach Turkey from Thessaloniki, Greece. “The last time we came, one euro was worth 9 pounds. Today it’s 14. So it’s better for us.”

“Turkish customers can no longer buy anything”

While the Turkish lira has lost 40% of its value against the dollar since the start of the year, the situation escalated again on November 23, when the currency collapsed by 15%. In question, an announcement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan affirming that he ruled out any increase in interest rates to combat rampant inflation in his country.

For several months, the president, who has built his popularity on the economic prosperity of his country, has not stopped trying to convince his people that he is in control, categorically refusing to raise interest rates and denouncing a “conspiracy”. “global against the Turkish economy.

Because if this galloping inflation – it is now close to 20% – does the business of the Greek and Bulgarian neighbors, it has serious consequences on the purchasing power of the Turks.

“Turkish customers, especially in the last two months, can no longer buy anything. Everything has become too expensive for them”, testifies a salesman, in Edirne. “For example, with the minimum wage, 3,000 lire (215 euros Friday evening, Editor’s note) you can hardly buy food.”

On Wednesday evening, around 250 demonstrators had gathered in the streets of Istanbul to protest against this brutal rise in prices.

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