Published: 2018-02-14 13:40
Last Updated: 2018-02-14 15:47
Jordanian PM Hani Mulki reassured Jordanians that the current economic crisis can expect a breakthrough by the middle of next year. He also called citizens to hold the government responsible if measures imposed failed.
Mulki’s remarks came during an interview with Jordan TV on Tuesday when he explained the reason behind his recent US visit, that has been a topic of discussion among Jordanians. He confirmed he had a nodule in the left lobe, yet doctors in the US assured him no operation was necessary and available medical treatment in Jordan would be sufficient.
In regards to current difficult economic and financial condition, Mulki acknowledged the economic hardship citizens face and called for the burden to be shared by “everyone”. He also said that “...we don't protect governments, but the homeland. Governments come and go but the homeland remains.”
As a part of cutting government expenses "decisive measures" to reduce budget deficit, including preventing the purchase of furniture and reducing current expenses and ministries’ allowances, have been imposed, Mulki said.
He also defended recent measures taken by the government, claiming they were a way of protecting Jordan, without which the debt to GDP ratio would have reached 100 percent, which would have been equal to bankruptcy. It is noteworthy that those very same economic measures included lifting bread subsidies and imposing higher taxes on cars, fizzy drinks, cigarettes, fuel, and transportation fares.
When addressing the unemployment rate Mulki deflected responsibility by talking about migrant workers in Jordan and passing the ball to the Ministry of Youth. "How do we have 18 percent as unemployment rate and at the same time, we have 1.3 million foreign workers, which means that we need a new culture among the youth, which will be duty of the Ministry of Youth”, he said.
Mulki called on economists to crunch the numbers and confirm his claim that his government has shown success as compared to previous years. He added that "We have succeeded in the past year, and figures that have been achieved are the evidence,".