Heavy American and European sanctions on Syria, especially on the oil sector, seem to be having a crippling effect on the economy, said the Syrian Prime Minister, Adel Safar.
He said that the regime’s decisions at the beginning of the protests were not reasonable in terms of aborting any attempts to take to the streets.
Earlier, the Syrian government decided to cease importing commodities with custom duties below 5%. However, countries with which Syria signed commercial agreements and businessmen vehemently criticized this decision, causing the government to reverse its decision.
Mohamed Nidal, Syria’s Minister of Economy, said that the government will put stop subsidies, as the country is not required to support the needs of its citizens but rather only needs to cover the state’s imports. He added that the economy is going through difficult times.
Claims that the government is following a policy of economic openness has been subject to criticism by Ghassan Muflih, a Syrian writer and political activist, who said that politicians have almost dominated the economy in both the private and public sectors, capitalizing on their close ties with Assad.
Ghassan compares the current crisis to that of the 80’s when Assad’s father faced widespread protests as a result of the international sanctions placed on Syria. Assad’s father claimed that the sanctions were imposed because of armed protests. (Source: www.yallafinance.com )