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The victims of Russia's rouble rout

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 01:39

A weak rouble is pressuring Russian households with foreign currency mortgages. As Mia Reakes reports, one family fears their home will be repossessed, leaving the 29 children in their care, out on the street.

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These are the ordinary Russians feeling the pinch as their currency sinks to record lows With 29 children in its care, this family fear their home could be repossessed Their U.S. dollar mortgage means the cost of repayments are soaring as the rouble plunges. Marina Markelova faces a bleak winter as bills mount and they struggle to pay for their home. (SOUNDBITE) (RUSSIAN) FOREIGN CURRENCY MORTGAGE HOLDER, MARINA MARKELOVA, SAYING: " What do I do with these children... right now, with disabilities, whether they are my own children or fostered, how am I supposed to go on the street with them, and where would I go?" The family took out a dollar mortgage in 2007 - a similar rouble agreement was rejected by the banks. Back then, the rouble was 25 to the dollar, now its hit an all-time low of over 85 to the U.S. greenback. The current slide may have helped the Kremlin shield state finances from the impact of low oil prices, But it's hurting the tens of thousands of Russians with dollar mortgages. And many say the authorities have ignored their pleas for help. Reuters Senior Economics correspondent, Jason Bush, has been following the story (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS SENIOR ECONOMICS CORRESPONDENT IN MOSCOW, JASON BUSH, SAYING: "There have been numerous protests in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia where borrowers have been barracking banks, complaining, dressing up and protesting. Although it is only a small number of people, the publicity that they are generating are sufficiently annoying for the government that they feel they have to do something about it or at least they have to look like they are doing something about it." President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said last week it had not yet been possible to find any "ready made" solutions to the problem. That leaves little option for families such as this - who now owe the bank more than their house is worth.

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The victims of Russia's rouble rout

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 01:39