Bulgarian News Dissection

Today the “Sega” daily publishes a lengthly article about the recent statistics data by Eurostat.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

What does the Bulgarian gets – Euro 1.65 / hour… In the EU the average level is Euro 20.65 / hour. That means that payment in the country is 8 % of the average European. One can only wonder how such small income has managed to raise the prices in Bulgaria to 44 % of the European prices. (Какво получава българинът – 1.65 евро на час… В ЕС средното равнище е 20.65 евро на час. Това означава, че заплащането у нас е 8% от средноевропейското. Човек да се чуди как такива немощни доходи са вдигнали цените до 44% от европейските.)

The problem with this kind of thinking (and with the other data, quoted by the newspaper), is that it does not take into account the fact that the prices in the country are not based on only payment of labor, but rather on a number of issues, almost all of them with foreign currency involved – prices of gas, oil, power, major food products, fertilizers, equipment, etc. Bulgaria has huge trade deficit, and it is due to the fact that the country still produces and exports less than it imports.

And also:

It is a different question why that same Bulgarian has productivity like the other west Europeans, when he is allowed to work in their enterprises – same qualification, same work desire. Obviously the low productivity is not because of the workers, but because of the employers, who do not understand modern labor organization, but manage to steal the work.
(Друг е въпросът защо същият българин има производителност като другите западноевропейци, когато бъде допуснат да работи в техни предприятия – не им отстъпва нито по квалификация, нито по усърдие. Явно ниската производителност се дължи не толкова на работещите, колкото на работодателите, които не разбират от модерна организация на труда, но се справят с ограбването на труда.)

Here the mistake is that the blame is thrown on the employers. Having been an employer in Bulgaria since 1993, I can guarantee that I would very much wanted to pay the same western salaries to everyone in my company, but the money we were making were not coming from west European clients, but from Bulgarians. And the Bulgarians didn’t (and in some cases couldn’t) want to pay more for Internet access than what they were paying. So, whatever organization of the labor we could have had in the company, the final result of the workers’ efforts would have been the same Bulgarian salaries. So, it is up to the productivity of all people, to make the living standard higher and better; and not only to the employers.

You can read more statistic data from Eurostat here.

This entry was posted in Bulgarian News Dissection, in English. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bulgarian News Dissection

  1. edd says:

    I think yours is a very wrong opinion. If I was an employer, I’d want quality, i.e. pay more. Many Bulgarian employers suffer from that same syndrome – I won’t pay the folks that work for me the salary they deserve, because the economic situation is sh**tty. The results are obvious – very low work-force motivation, huge brain drain and in the end – low quality of service. I’d say – why pay 5 guys 500 leva ? Go ahead and hire 1 guy to do those 5 guys’s work, and then pay him/her 2 500 leva. This way you have people who are dedicated to their work and not always grumbling. There is no other way to improve the situation in Bulgaria – employers must realize that without paying their workers more, there will be NO quality and the economy will continue to stagnate. Unless, of course you find a bunch of zombies to work for nothing. If you do, then lucky you!

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