The Economist 100本 英和訳マラソン 18

Moldova’s economy

A banking scandal is set to bankrupt Europe’s poorest country
//be set to:~する予定だ、する見込みだ

WHEN Alina, a Moldovan student, had her bank card rejected by a cash machine last week, her first thought was to wonder whether the bank had quietly gone under. Happily, the cause was a fleeting technical glitch-but her reaction was not far-fetched. The country’s financial system is limping badly. In November, thieves stole $1 billion from Moldova’s three biggest banks through a series of fraudulent loans and transfers. Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, is the poorest country in Europe; the theft amounted to more than an eighth of GDP. It has set in train a series of events that will leave the government unable to pay salaries by the end of the summer, according to the recently departed finance minister.
//set in train:手はずを整える、開始する、の引き金になる

The fraud left the three banks insolvent, so the National Bank of Moldova, the central bank, has taken them over, injecting 12.5 billion Moldovan lei ($660m) in new capital. It did not have such a sum to hand, however-it had to create it. The huge expansion of the money supply caused inflation to double to 8% and the currency to drop. It has fallen by 20% against the dollar this year.
*詐欺事件の結果、3大銀行が支払い不能状態に陥ったため、中央銀行であるモルドバ国立銀行が新規資本として125億モルドバレイ(6億6000万ドル)を注入し、これらの銀行を管理下に置いた。 だが、中央銀行にはそんな額の資金がなく、マネーを作り出すしかなかった。マネーサプライの急拡大は、インフレ率を8%まで2倍に上昇させ、通貨を下落させた。モルドバの通貨は今年、対ドルで20%下落している。

In response to the jump in inflation, the central bank began raising its benchmark interest rate sharply. It has vaulted from 8.5% in January to 15.5% now. That, along with the addled state of the banks, is causing businesses to rein in their investments.
//benchmark rate:標準価格

It does not help that Russia, one of Moldova’s biggest trading partners and source of almost $800m in remittances from Moldovan workers last year, is facing an economic crisis. Russia’s recession has caused Moldova’s GDP growth to fall by 4.6 percentage points, the World Bank reckons. That accounts for a big part of the economy’s reversal from growth of 5% in 2014 to a contraction projected at 2% this year.

In addition to all these disasters, the country is in the grip of political upheaval. The prime minister, Chiril Gaburici, resigned in June after state prosecutors and fellow politicians accused him of forging his high-school diploma. A replacement was only agreed this week.
//in the grip of:~につかまれて、~に捕らえられて、~に支配されて

Meanwhile, many of the foreign countries and international agencies that bankroll Moldova’s government say they are suspending assistance until it gets to grips with corruption and mismanagement in the financial sector. The European Union was the most recent donor to pull out, announcing on July 5th that it was freezing its ?40m ($44m) aid programme. The World Bank has stipulated that it will resume lending only if the three stricken banks are closed, since it considers them open targets for future fraud, even in the hands of the central bank.
* 一方、モルドバ政府に資金を供給している諸外国や国際機関の多くは、政府が金融セクターの腐敗と不適切な管理の解決に真剣に取り組むまで、支援を停止すると言っている。欧州連合(EU)は一番最近手を引いた資金提供者で、4000億ユーロ(4400万ドル)の支援プログラムを凍結すると7月5日に発表した。世界銀行は、被害に遭った3行が閉鎖された場合に限って、融資を再開すると明言している。たとえ中央銀行の管理下にあっても、3行は今後の詐欺の絶好の標的になると考えているためだ。
//get to grips with ~(~に)取り組む

The government relies on concessionary loans and aid to plug its deficit, which is projected to be 7% of GDP this year. The loss of tax revenue caused by the recession will only make the shortfall grow. The government has slashed spending, disbursing 20% less than planned in the first five months of the year and freezing all investment projects from July. Two public hospitals in the capital, Chisinau, briefly closed all departments except emergency services and surgery earlier this year. Suspending basic services, however, will only exacerbate Moldova’s problems.
//concessionary loan:譲与的条件貸付

It is not clear that the country’s political elite has much interest in sorting out this mess. It was not until April that much information about the bank scandal became public, after the speaker of parliament leaked a report on the crime by Kroll, a security firm. The judiciary is not strong enough to clamp down on corruption. A week before Mr Gaburici stepped down, he called for the chief prosecutor to resign over his failure to act on the bank scandal.
//speaker of parliament:議会議長

“The heist was obviously covered up,” says Francis Malige of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The EBRD recently tried to buy a majority stake in Victoriabank, one of the largest remaining private banks, to try to ensure a continued flow of lending to local businesses; the government inexplicably blocked the acquisition.
* 「今回の窃盗は明らかに隠ぺいされていた」と欧州復興開発銀行(EBRD)のフランシス・マリージュ氏は言う。EBRDは最近、地元企業への融資の継続的な流れを確実なものにしようと、残る大手民間銀行の1つ、ビクトリアバンクの過半数の株式を購入しようとした。議会は、どういうわけかこの買収を阻止した。

Moldova’s fortunes do not need to be so grim, says Alex Kremer of the World Bank’s local office. It has a long border with the EU, and an extremely competitive average monthly wage of just over €200. “This should be a booming export economy,” he says. “If they sort out the governance and corruption, it will be.”