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Moldova's Currency Worries

Moldovan National Bank Deputy Governor Victor Cibotaru said on March 4 that the country's currency, the leu, is unlikely to drop against the euro or the dollar anytime soon.

Cibotaru told RFE/RL's Moldovan Service that the bank has enough reserves to keep the currency afloat, despite a sharp decrease in remmittances.

The Moldovan press has said that the National Bank will do anything to keep the leu strong until the April 5 general elections to avoid a crisis that could upset the ruling Communist Party's chances to win.

But Cibotaru denied that and said Moldova could also count on extra cash from the IMF and EU to prop up its reserves.

Moldova's economy has shown resilience during the economic downturn, and its currency has not nosedived like Ukraine's.Economists say Moldovan banks are not exposed to overspills from Western European banking troubles, but they warn that Europe's poorest country could still face trouble if remmittances stop coming and if its exports drop.

Estimates suggest that up to half of Moldova's working-age population works abroad.

-- Moldova Service

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