Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jihad Yazigi

Why should the common people be targeted to suffer from economic sanctions?

All politically motivated economic and financial sanctions on weaker States, labelled  “rogue States” by the western powers for political reasons, ended up subjecting the common people to hell of miseries, famine, health degradation, high infantile mortality, reduction of the number of educated people, minors integrated to the workforce...and decades of pains and suffering trying to get out of an infernal situation that never reaches any adequate resolution…

Think of Iraq after 1992 as Saddam Hussein circles were supposed to suffer from economic embargoes, and the Iraqis experiencing two million deaths, mostly among babies for lack of milk and essential medical medicine and equipment…

Saddam and his retinue kept purchasing BMW, building humongous palaces, and never lacking any item of luxury, and maintaining a huge army and security forces…

Think of North Korea where millions are dying of famine and the dictator and his oligarchy importing every luxury items from China and Germany…

Think of Iran, with inflation reaching 50% on foodstuff, and revenue dwindling, and social services curtailed…so that Israel and Saudi Arabia be satisfied that “economic pressures” are making a dent on the program of peaceful atomic energy self-sufficiency…

Think of Venezuela and Cuba…

Think of the Syrians at the receiving end from both the regime and the western financial and economic sanctions…

No, these sanctions are not meant for degrading a political regime, but strategically to weaken the potential capability of an entire nation that is trying to regain economic self-sufficiency and be totally at the beck and commands of the superpowers…

On March 02, 2012, Djilali Belaid and Talal El-Atrache published their opinion on “Ordinary Syrians hit by sanctions-fueled price hikes

Agence France Presse
People walk through Hamidiya popular market in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012. (AP/Bassem Tellawi)
People walk through Hamidiya popular market in Damascus, Syria, on Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012. (AP/Bassem Tellawi)

DAMASCUS: In Medhat Pasha souq, a bustling market in central Damascus, Fahed is deeply troubled by the “disastrous” price hikes and collapse of the local currency that are choking ordinary Syrians.

Western and Arab countries, outraged by the deadly government crackdown on an 11-month uprising, have imposed economic sanctions on the regime of President Bashar Assad, but the heaviest toll is on the Syrian people.

A 32-year-old clothes vendor said: “Since the start of the crisis, there has been a huge rise in prices. This is a disaster that touches everyone all over the country. The poor are getting hit, and even the rich are facing difficulties.

It is really unbelievable. The price of one kilo of locally manufactured cotton has gone from 400 to 550 Syrian pounds ($5.70 to $7.80), a kilo of sugar, which was worth 50 pounds (70 cents), today sells for nearly 73 pounds ($1), and vegetable oil has gone up 50%.

“We are spared nothing. The price of a gas cylinder has jumped by 60 percent. The poor really cannot cope…”

Syria’s banking system and oil exports have been hit by rounds of sanctions, dealing a heavy blow to foreign exchange earnings and stoking inflation.

And later on Friday, EU leaders are expected to tighten the noose on Assad’s regime with fresh sanctions.

Nidal, a 29-year-old taxi driver, waits patiently in a long queue at a petrol station in Damascus’s Tahrir Square. He says: “Twenty litres of petrol today costs 1,000 pounds ($14.30), compared with 800 pounds ($11.40) before the crisis.”

The slide in the value of the pound has crippled purchasing power. The dollar, which traded at 46.50 pounds a year ago, today buying 74 pounds, representing a fall of 62 percent for the pound.

Jihad Yazigi, editor-in-chief of The Syria Report, said: “Inflation has shot up. The official rate rose from 5% in November to 11 percent in December. It is partly the result of the strong dollar, but also of supply problems, because many products come from the flash point regions of Homs and Hama,”

To prevent the pound from plunging still further, the government has raised customs duties on several consumer goods, risking a further inflationary shock.

Under a decree issued last month, import tax rose from 40 to 80%, the government daily Tishrin said on Wednesday. This applies to 39 food items, as well as electrical appliances, beauty and hygiene products, kitchen utensils, water tanks and paint.

The daily Tishrin warned, citing economists, that the measure would “encourage the smuggling of goods from neighboring countries, causing losses for the state and a rise in prices on the Syrian market.”

The government is also pursuing other options to overcome the barrage of sanctions, including barter agreements with “friendly” countries such as Russia, China and Venezuela.

Syria could exchange its crude oil for sugar, a key commodity in the local market, other agricultural products and manufactured goods, which usually require hard currency.

“But the countries with which such trade is possible are limited, as they have to accept this type of exchange and have something to sell that Syria needs.  There is no doubt that the sanctions imposed on Syria touch the population first of all. Are they having an impact on the regime? It’s an open question,” Yazigi notes.

“The Syrian people are suffering a political crisis, a very difficult security situation, and economic conditions which were already deteriorating before sanctions struck. But today those sanctions are lumbering them with an additional burden.”

Funny that the worst rogue States such as Saudi Arabia and Israel that have been financing, supplying, and training al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalists have never been sanctioned…

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Mar-02/165309-ordinary-syrians-hit-by-sanctions-fuelled-price-hikes.ashx#ixzz1nyVowTKS
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)


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adonis49

adonis49

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