Friday, October 25, 2013

That went well, huh?

The road littered with good intentions, in the Middle East;
On the whole, political conditions in the countries of the Arab Spring revolutions are grim and primarily characterised by internal conflict and poor management of the democratic transformation process.
Economically and socially, the Arab revolutions called for an end to unemployment, higher wages, social justice and controls on the prices of essential goods and services. Again, developments worked counter these demands and expectations. The deterioration in the state of security was reflected in the investment, tourism and financial sectors in Egypt and Tunisia, and in the petroleum sector in Libya. In all these countries, production declined and economic growth rates plunged, as a result of which all are plagued by fiscal crisis (mounting deficits and lack of liquidity), as well as by constant energy and fuel shortages and rising unemployment. In the hope of alleviating the financial straits, Egypt sought to renew talks with the visiting IMF technical team over a prospective $4.8 billion loan in spite of the donor organisation’s stringent conditions. The Tunisia government failed to produce effective solutions for the unemployment crisis or even to reform labour conditions and improve public services. In Syria, most of the infrastructure has been destroyed and it has become absurd to even speak of something called a Syrian economy in a country in which the search for food has become part of people’s day-to-day struggle to survive. In general, all post-revolutionary governments appear to lack a comprehensive economic vision that addresses the sectors most vital to the people.
In sum, after having achieved the momentous change of toppling despotic regimes, the countries of the Arab Spring found themselves in a vicious cycle of political strife, poor government performance and an inability to meet the essential and urgent economic needs of their people. 
Chalk up another legacy of Barack Obama's foreign policy.

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