Good news! You're rich, compared to Zimbabwe
Balance of $217 all that's left after civil servants paid last week
Chances are - you probably have more in your checking account than the African nation of Zimbabwe currently has. As of this week, Zimbabwe only had 127 dollars in its account.
Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti says that $217 was all that was left in the country's public accounts after it paid its civil servants last week.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti says that $217 was all that was left in the country's public accounts after it paid its civil servants last week. According to the South African Press Association, Biti told reporters in the capital, Harare, that some of them were probably better off than the state.
Following 10 years of inflation hit 500 billion percent in 2008 - leading to the issuance of 100 trillion-dollar bills in Zimbabwean currency, the country switched to the U.S. dollar and formed a coalition government in 2009. The International Monetary Fund stepped up to the fore in September to take credit for taming inflation and stabilizing the economy.
Zimbabwe debt which the nation built up during those years of nationalist rule by President Robert Mugabe left it with a minimal tax base and few cash reserves. The dire situation led Zimbabwe vulnerable to economic "shocks."
One of those would appear to be the regular wage bill for civil servants - which accounts for 73 percent of the national budget.
An opposition member of Mugabe's coalition, Biti said the lack of cash threatened elections that are expected some time after a March referendum on a new constitution.
"The government finances are in a paralysis state at the present moment," he said, adding that the country might have to seek donations to stay afloat.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Zimbabwe, debt, inflation, International Monetary Fund, public servants
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