Moldova ranks second for migrant money transfers

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Moldova ranks second in the world for the amount of money sent home by migrants to their families. 27 percent of Moldova's GDP consists of the $854 million sent home from abroad, according to a report called "Moldova - Migration Problems."

The African state of Togo ranks as number one.

Over the past seven years, the percentage that money transfers contribute to the Moldovan GDP has increased from 8 percent to 27 percent. Experts from the International Monetary Fund believe that money transfers will continue to grow to $1.4 billion by 2008.

Nearly one-third of able-bodied Moldovans have seeked employment abroad, with 57 percent of them working in Russia. The rest have mostly seeked employment in the European Union.

Moldova was ranked in 2006 as the poorest country in Europe, but has hopes for EU membership in the future.

One of its proponents is Romania, with which the country has strong historical and cultural ties.

Romania has recently been criticized by the EU for making it too easy for Moldovans to receive Romanian citizenship. Romania recently joined the EU, along with Bulgaria, on 01 January 2007.