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The Reality Of Sanctions On Syria.

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday February 17, 2012 18:18author by pat c Report this post to the editors

Sanctions: such a simple word, it sounds harmless. But sanctions are really War by other means. Here Michael Jansen writes about the reality of sanctionsc as ordinary Syrian people suffer. Full text at link.

SHOESHINE BOYS and girls line up with their simple kits along the pavement across from the luxury Cham Palace Hotel, which charges more than a poor man’s monthly wage for a single night’s stay.

Women holding bundles which may or may not be babies sit on the broad walkway in a colonnade. Grubby children peddling chewing gum and lottery tickets pursue pedestrians for blocks in the hope of receiving a coin or two. In all the years I have been visiting Syria, I have never seen such desperation.

Economic sanctions touted as targeting the regime actually affect the poor, punish the middle class, and destroy commerce.

In November, a dollar bought 54 Syrian pounds; today a dollar is worth 70 and more. Prices have risen by 35-50 per cent. Unemployment and underemployment are soaring. The Central Bureau of Statistics put the unemployment level for 2011 at 8.6 per cent for males, 22 per cent for females, and 20.4 per cent for youth. These figures do not reflect reality. Many men have never formally entered the workforce or have gone abroad for work while only 10 per cent of women are employed outside the home.

Before the troubles began 11 months ago, the economy was growing at a rate of 4-6 per cent. This surge came after the launch of a liberalisation programme which transformed the country’s command economy into a “social market” one, featuring a free market with guaranteed development for the poor.

Independent economic consultant Nabil Sukkar says oil exports have fallen but Damascus expects to make up some losses by increasing non-oil exports such as agricultural products (especially olive oil), pharmaceuticals and textiles.

Although Syria’s imports are falling, the country could end up with a larger budget deficit. Syria’s $17 billion in reserves, reduced to $14-15 billion, “are not being replenished as before by oil exports and tourism”.

He points out that “sanctions have created bottlenecks and black markets. Smugglers benefit.”

Related Link:

 #   Title   Author   Date 
   UN vote seen as stepping stone toward military intervention in Syria     pat c    Sun Feb 19, 2012 19:18 
   US, Egyptian junta seek to arm Syrian opposition     pat c    Fri Feb 24, 2012 17:38 
   "yom kippur" war was all a big scam...     lefty    Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:30 
   A note from Syria     Abdul Al-Hogwash    Sun Feb 26, 2012 20:41 
   lesser of two evils?     lefty    Mon Feb 27, 2012 07:21 
   Secular democracy??????     Contrarian    Mon Feb 27, 2012 09:32 
   you mean, contra..     opus diablos    Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:00 
   did you forget     opus diablos    Mon Feb 27, 2012 13:02 
   oh and..     opus diablos    Mon Feb 27, 2012 13:24 
 10   So they passed     Reader    Mon Feb 27, 2012 16:29 
 11   Consistency     Contrarian    Mon Feb 27, 2012 18:57 
 12   typo     lefty    Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:30 
 13   agreed, contrarian     opus diablos    Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:59 
 14   and again..grains of salt     opus diablos    Tue Feb 28, 2012 13:58 
 15   A bit of a rant....     Contrarian    Tue Feb 28, 2012 15:47 
 16   purePR guff contrarian. Only a fool would be naive enough to go along with what you said     realist    Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:31 
 17   Realist?     Contrarian    Wed Feb 29, 2012 15:20 
 18   you are just repeating knee jerk right wing propaganda regarding cuba.     realist    Wed Feb 29, 2012 15:55 
 19   Benign dictatorship, me arse!     Contrarian    Wed Feb 29, 2012 16:18 
 20   democracy, contra??     opus diablos    Tue Mar 06, 2012 13:48 
 21   RTE continue its biased news reports on Syria     lefty    Wed Mar 07, 2012 17:24 
 22   Irish People?     Reader    Wed Mar 07, 2012 22:18 
 23   please read properly before attacking peoples posts     lefty    Wed Mar 07, 2012 22:38 

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