Could someone do me a favour and explain what's going on with the Belarussian rouble?
The graph below shows historical exchange rates between the Belarusian Ruble (BYR) and the Euro (EUR) between 11/13/2010 and 5/11/2011
This is discussed in this article MINSK, Belarus | Belarus completes its currency devalution | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC
That is VERY tough! I wonder what an average rent is? Why does she need the USD unless she's going abroad? So far as I can see, all prices in Belarus are in roubles, apart from services explicitly aimed at tourists.Nina Zelenkovskaya, a 36-year-old accountant who has been queuing to buy foreign currency for three weeks now, said Wednesday her salary of 1.2 million Belarusian rubles ($400 before the devaluation) is now worth $300, which is about the average in the capital of Minsk.
I realise these may be stupid questions but I am not familiar with the system, so sorry!
So who is shopping in the very chic boutiques and stylish shopping centres in central Minsk? What about affording to eat in restaurants and cafes? (Minsk is packed with nice cafes) - If not middle class people like this accountant, and since there are no real oligarchs....
When I was withdrawing money from a cashpoint, I noticed that I got the option of withdrawing USD.
If it's available to me, then why not to this woman? That sounds a bit "Soviet" and bad.
Is the exchange rate used by the bank very bad?
I like Belarus a lot, and I respect what's been done here politically. The country has not lost its dignity since the USSR days and has not allowed itself to be seriously ripped off by local oligarchs or foreign multinational corporations. It's very obvious that people are pleased and proud about that. It has kept some of the Soviet institutions that were really useful and helpful for people and it is now moving towards more market economy at a sensible speed. Obviously I do not respect mistreatment of people on political grounds but I think the rumours about that are hugely exaggerated in most Western media, for political reasons. Maybe I am misunderstanding something, not sure. When I was on the train I listened to a political discussion. One person was seriously dissing Lukashenko in a loud voice on the train. Everybody else got genuinely pissed off at his views and defended Lukashenko and Belarus politics. Lukashenko goes under the nickname "Batye" or something like that. I get the feeling that the people view him as a fundamentally good but sometimes irritating figure who is the best that is on offer politically. Better-the-devil-you-know....
The woman from the flat letting company asked me if I was aware of this. I said no, but we moved on to talking about other things. I had some Euros on me (emergency cash...) I paid her the agreed price in Euros, all fine.Belarus uses different exchange rates, depending on whether it is banks, private individuals or state companies that are buying the foreign currency. At times the difference between those rates can be up to 30 percent.
Can anyone explain all this a bit more in depth to me, with some examples? If I withdraw USD from a cashpoint, do I get the bad or the good exchange rate?
Again sorry for maybe a stupid question and grateful for any help!