Albanian banks are forced to transfer cash a few times a month as Albania has a high and continuous cash surplus resulting from foreign currency gains.
This is the explanation offered by Silvio Pedrazzi, president of the Albanian banking association and general manager of the San Paolo Bank in Albania.
Pedrazzi held a press conference to explain the phenomenon of cash transfer from Rinas airport, which was discussed a lot after the rapina of approximately 10 million euros occurred at the 9 airport in April.
The data on the Albanian economy
Officially, Albania has a foreign market deficit of around 2,9 billion while remittances from emigrants, foreign loans and foreign direct investment cover only part of this deficit.
However, the last balance sheet of the Bank of Albania - where profits and expenditures are calculated in foreign currency - reports that for the 2018 the deficit amounts to approximately 860 million.
Asked about this contradiction between the banks' cash surplus and the budget deficit, Pedrazzi stated that informality could be the main cause, underlining also the strengthening of the lek against the euro.
"When I arrived in Albania five years ago, one euro was exchanged at 140 lek while now at 125 lek. "- declared Pedrazzi.
The airport robbery also caused a further problem for the banks in Albania as the airline 'Austrian Airlines' decided to don't continue the money transfer service in Vienna and the banks did not find an alternative at the moment.
For Pedrazzi, in fact, the cash money transfer service is offered by a few banks around the world because it has high costs and low profits. The Austrian Raiffeisen is one of these, but - at least for the moment - other cash cannot be sent to Vienna.
"It will be important to find a solution before the summer season, when the emigrants' remittances and tourism income will grow."- concluded Pedrazzi.
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