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Global Crisis Affecting Moldovan Migrant Workers

CHISINAU -- Moldovan officials predict the country will receive fewer remittances from Moldovan migrant workers next year because of the global financial crisis.

Moldovan Economy Minister Igor Dodon said that the annual remittance volume gained by Moldovan workers abroad this year would reach $1.8 billion, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reported. He added that next year the figure may be less due to the financial crisis.

Speaking with Moldovan employers in Chisinau, Dodon noted that there are an estimated 450,000 Moldovans working abroad legally, which is one-tenth of the country's population. About two-thirds of those workers are in Western Europe and the rest are in Russia.

It is unclear if the financial crisis will lead to Moldovan migrants coming home in large numbers, but some warn that Moldovans are coming home and will find a small labor market that is not sophisticated enough to receive them.