: Kyrgyz loan holders demand government help in paying off debts
Politics20:45 Apr. 1, 2016
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Kyrgyz loan holders demand government help in paying off debts

Som currency has dropped 22.4% against the dollar

Thousands of Kyrgyz loan holders are demanding government help in paying off their debts. Kyrgyzstan has been feeling the pressure as faltering oil prices damage the economy of its neighbours, especially Russia. The oil price crash has been felt in Kyrgyzstan where the som currency has dropped 22.4 percent against the dollar. One representative of the protests says a struggling agriculture market is fueling the crisis.

Watch also Kyrgyzstan goes pro-Russia with Kremlin-backed PM

Kubat Toksobaev, representative of the people's movement for protecting loan holders' rights: "The Kyrgyz loan market is in crisis because prices on agricultural goods fell sharply, as well as commodity circulation. Also drought the year before last had a negative effect on the situation. Therefore the overwhelming majority of loan holders are in trouble today."

For many of the small countries at the fringes of the former Soviet union their main export has been citizens who work abroad. Such workers have lost jobs or seen the remittances they send home drop in value.

Kubat Toksobaev, representative of the people's movement for protecting loan holders' rights: "According to statistics today every fifth loan is a problem, people cannot pay them off. People secured loans against their houses and now there is the threat of eviction of these loan holders from their houses."

The collapse in world oil prices to 12-year lows has crippled the economy of Russia, which shrank in 2015 by nearly four percent. Its rouble currency has lost almost 60% of its value against the dollar since mid-2014.

Watch also Iran says it hopes to boost oil output by 700,000 barrels per day

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