Faced with a rising trade deficit and falling foreign exchange reserves, and already tied into a large conditional loan from the IMF worth $2.9 billion, Tunisia’s economy is in the midst of a stagflationary crisis of inflation and slow growth.
Restrictions on imports, new taxes and prices increases have spurred inflation. The collapse of tourism as a result of terrorist attacks in 2015 and the rise of oil prices are only making matters worse. Under the Finance Law announced in January this year, prices of consumer goods have been hiked and additional taxes have been imposed. The recent Fech Nestannaw [What are we waiting for?] protests over the 2018 budget call for a reversal of austerity measures.… Seguir leyendo »
What does Iraq’s protest movement want?
The protest movement in Iraq, demanding reforms of the political system to better address issues around corruption and the provision of services, started in July 2015 when anti-government demonstrations broke out against the decline in living conditions for many Iraqis.
The demands of the protest movement can be summarised broadly into three demands. First, the reform of the political system in Iraq and getting rid of the sectarian quota-based system (Muhassasa) that allows for government institutions and ministries to be dominated by political factions that have been assigned them as part of an agreement. The second demand is that more should be done to stamp out state corruption (of which the Muhassasa system is one of the key drivers) and bring those accused in government and the parliament to justice.… Seguir leyendo »
With the Mosul offensive underway, discussion has largely focused on the eventual fate of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), once it is ousted from the city. Yet the most significant barometer of this offensive remains unanswered: what happens if a military victory is not followed by a political accord among Iraq’s competing players? The signs are not encouraging.
The realities of victory differ when viewed from military and political perspectives. In the build up to the offensive, most of the focus has been on how to achieve a military victory. Here, much debate has centred on the makeup of the force.… Seguir leyendo »