Protesters of Abdul-Mahdi: "Where did the oil money go?"
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A wave of angry and violent protests swept through Baghdad and the southern provinces as protesters chanted the fall of a political establishment they say did not give them priority.
"The unrest is fueled by anger over the economic downturn inundated [url=https://www.thebaghdadpost.com/ar/Story/t/68226/%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84 %D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D9%81%D8%B7][size=13]by oil money[/url] that has failed to create jobs or improvements in the lives of young people, who make up the majority of those who take to the streets," the Associated Press report said .
"The province represents the lion's share of crude oil exports, but we are unemployed and poor even though we see the flares of oil fields every day, where millions of dollars have gone," said an activist from Basra.
The report added that "this leads to the question, oil represents approximately 85 to 90 percent of state revenues and is expected to reach the federal budget for this year about 79 billion dollars based on expected exports of 3.88 million barrels per day at $ 56 a barrel, as the Iraqi economy improved in 2019 due to higher oil production, GDP growth is expected to grow by 4.6% by the end of the year according to the World Bank. ''
“But with all this, Iraqi citizens rarely see the fruits of these wealth due to financial mismanagement, inefficiency, bureaucracy and corruption, where the total unemployment rate is about 11% while 22% of the population live in poverty. ”.
"The quota-based system of political power in Iraq has enabled political elites to govern based on informal agreements and agreements, marginalize the role of parliament and alienate many Iraqi residents in the process, while political leaders have relied on government functions as a guaranteed means of maintaining loyalty," the report said. In the public sector and depleting the country's budget, leaving little to invest in much-needed social projects and infrastructure. ”
“Last year's budget ended with a surplus of about $ 21 billion, not because we had a lot of money, but because we didn't know how to spend it the right way,” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Or international organizations spend on ministry officials to cover expenses. ”
"Iraqi leaders are not yet ready to reform the system, which experts say is unsustainable because of a lack of resources and excessive dependence on volatile oil markets."
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