Transnistria

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Transnistria has a mixed economy. Following a large scale privatization process in the late 90s,[101] most of the companies in Transnistria are now privately owned. The economy is based on a mix of heavy industry (steel production) electricity production and manufacturing (textile production) which together account for about 80% of the total industrial output. Transnistria has its own central bank, which issues Transnistrian currency, the Transnistrian ruble. It is convertible at a freely floating exchange rate but only in Transnistria. Transnistria's economy is frequently described as dependent on contraband[103] and gunrunning,[104][105][106] with some labelling it a mafia state.[107] These allegations are denied by the Transnistrian government, and sometimes downplayed by the officials of Russia and Ukraine.[108] Economic history[edit] After World War II, Transnistria was heavily industrialised, to the point that, in 1990, it was responsible for 40% of Moldova's GDP and 90% of its electricity,[109] although it accounted for only 17% of Moldova's population. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Transnistria wanted to return to a "Brezhnev-style planned economy".[110] However, several years later, it decided to head toward a market economy. Macroeconomics[edit] According to the government of Transnistria, the 2007 GDP was 6789 mln Transnistrian roubles (appx US$799 million) and the GDP per capita was about US$1,500. The GDP increased by 11.1% and inflation rate was 19.3%.[111] Transnistria's government budget for 2007 was US$246 million, with an estimated deficit of about US$100 million[112] which the government planned to cover with income from privatizations.[113] Budget for 2008 is US$331 million, with an estimated deficit of about US$80 million.[114] In 2004, Transnistria had debts of US$1.2 billion (two-thirds of which are with Russia) which was per capita about six times higher than in Moldova (without Transnistria).[115] In March 2007 the debt to Gazprom for the acquisition of natural gas has increased to US$1.3 billion. On 22 March 2007 Gazprom sold Transnistria's gas debt to the Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, who controls Moldova Steel Works, the largest enterprise in Transnistria. Transnistria's president Igor Smirnov has announced that Transnistria will not pay its gas debt because "Transdnistria has no legal debt [to Gazprom]".[116][117] In November 2007, the total debt of Transnistria's public sector was up to US$1.64 billion.[114] According to a 2007 interview with Yevgeny Shevchuk, the then-speaker of the Transnistrian Supreme Soviet, Transnistria is in a difficult economic situation. Despite a 30% tax increase in 2007, the pension fund is still lacking money and emergency measures must be taken.[118] However, Shevchuk mentioned that the situation is not hopeless and it cannot be considered a crisis, as a crisis means three-month delays in payment of pensions and salaries.[119]

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