Poverty Trap in Bulgaria

Poverty Trap in BulgariaHaving been living in Bulgaria for quite a few years now it has become more and more apparent that lack of money and high inflation are big problems for most people in Bulgaria. My family here are no exception. Even with our increasing poverty, the bandwagon of western influence hits hard on the weakness of materialism and greed. Everyday Bulgaria is being bombarded with adverts for new cars, fast food and numerous credit options to take to pay for these. It is a vicious spiral of temptation and a constant fight for many Bulgarians to feel that they have to have many things that aren’t commensurate to their income. It is a sick feeling I get when watching and experiencing this as my family here are glued to all the influence of advertising with a wish list of most things that are thrown at them.

Poverty Trap in BulgariaJust to put this in perspective, our income as a family here is just enough to put our heads above water. Galia earns £140 a month and Baba’s pension comes to just over £60 a month. That’s £50 a week to live on,before I became part of the family and Galia didn’t have any work. They just lived on just that measly pension. Without my contribution from my small savings brought here (and that won’t last long as things are) the family would suffer intolerable poverty and stress. How many other families are in this poverty trap with inflation running as around 25% in real terms? Wages and pensions never keep up with inflation here so it just gets worse month after month.

A quick word about inflation here: We all know how much things have gone up in price here. We see the 30% increase in gas and electric over the last six months, we see the cost of homes rising at over 20% + per annum and we see the cost of food shoot up, even in the height of the growing season! No matter what Bulgarian politicians and manipulative economists conjure up as the rate of inflation, the people of Bulgaria living on a day-to-day basis here, know the what the real inflation rate is

Poverty Trap in BulgariaNow it’s not just being lured into paying for luxury goods by credit as it now becomes a ‘normal’ way of funding, but having to pay for essentials by credit is becoming more common. Credit is now here to stay in Bulgaria, this wasn’t the case a few years ago.

It really is so difficult to forecast where this will end. There is no sign of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here but just a case of trying to avoid the hell of running up credit. I can see many in the future here, many mortgaging their homes to fund day-to-day living. Looking even further ahead, many more will lose their properties to the banks and the next generation will not inherit their rightful homes causing more credit and mortgage runs.

Poverty Trap in BulgariaThe only advantage Bulgarians have over this wave of western materialistic virus is their in-built system of surviving through poverty using effective practicalities to combat this. This time however Bulgarians are not just against simple poverty of basic needs, but a danger of succumbing American culture and ways. In case you didn’t know, this is where it all the advertising comes from. There just isn’t the infrastructure in Bulgaria to live this way and they are taking advantage of a country whose population are easily led through the media looking glass.