The recent increasing price rise in the areas controlled by the Assad regime has exhausted citizens in all their segments. Customs prices increased on most items, and the value of the Syrian pound fell to 4800 against the US dollar. All of these made the poor class and the segment of employees in a deplorable state. They cannot secure the most basic requirements of life of food and supplies. In parallel with that, the officials of the Assad regime began to shyly admit the magnitude of the disaster.
The employee’s salary is enough for bread and onions
Fayez Qassouma, a member of the Damascus Chamber of Commerce of Assad’s government, said that for the economy to develop in areas controlled by Assad’s militia, the salaries of employees working in government and administrative centers must be raised at least fourfold.
Qassouma added in statements to the pro-regime Arabesque FM radio that the economy must flourish in order to live, and this needs electricity and raising income. If the employee’s salary is at a minimum of 500,000 Syrian pounds, it is not enough to feed him more than bread and onion.
However, when an employee’s salary is 200,000 Syrian pounds, and he has two children, it is not enough for each child to have only half a falafel sandwich three meals a day without paying for electricity, water and other expenses.
As for salaries in areas of the Assad government, Naim Abu al-Huda, an economist, told Orient News that the average monthly salary of an employee in Damascus and the rest of Assad’s militia is 122,000 Syrian pounds per month. He added that 50% of employees have an average salary ranging from 100,000 to 145,000 Syrian pounds.
Fruits are luxuries
Abu Muhammad al-Qabbani, an employee in rural Damascus, told Orient News that his salary is 76,000 Syrian pounds and he can only buy subsidized bread and some vegetables to prepare a simple meal for his family of seven.
“Meat, chicken, eggs, fruits (such as bananas, peaches and grapes) and sweets are luxuries that we cannot afford. My salary is only enough for the necessities such as vegetables, and the rest for the expenses of my three children at school and for the need for clothes and some medicine for my young children,” he added.
Prices are more expensive than neighboring countries
For his part, Maher al-Azaat, vice president of the Consumer Protection Association in Damascus and its countryside affiliated with the Assad government, acknowledged that prices in Syria are now more expensive than all neighboring countries. He pointed out that if the government does not intervene and reduce customs duties in proportion to the markets of neighboring countries, the suffering of citizens will increase even more.
He said that the Ministry of Internal Trade sets a price for materials in a timely and incorrect manner and does not suit the costs, so we see prices in the market always higher than the ration price. Areas of the Assad regime suffer from a sharp rise in poverty rates. A UN statement in April 2022 said that “it is estimated that 90 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and deteriorating social and economic trends are expected to lead to increased levels of extreme poverty.” All of this is accompanied by a sharp collapse in the value of the Syrian pound, which reached 4800 against the US dollar this week.
Former Minister and Deputy Complaints
A minister and a former member of parliament in the government of Assad’s militia said that Syria is experiencing the worst economic crises, as a result of the monopoly of a few people on the wealth and capabilities of the whole of Syria. This comes at a time when more than 90 percent of Syrians lack the most basic services in light of the insane increase in prices and the lack of job opportunities in areas controlled by Assad.
This came in a post written by the former minister of administrative development affairs in the Assad militia, Hassan al-Nouri, on his personal Facebook page. In the post, he talked about the corruption and monopoly of the influential militias of the Assad family of Syria’s wealth at the expense of the absence of basic services for Syrians.
Nouri, who was also a former member of Assad’s parliament, wrote that “there is no fuel, no gas, no electricity, no economic and social equity in a country owned by twenty people who own its capabilities at the expense of its intellectuals, traders, industrialists, professors and experts.”
Nouri dreams of going to Europe
Nouri, who lives in Belarus, could not hide his desire and love to emigrate and invest in EU countries like many influential people in the government of Assad’s militias. However, it is political sanctions that prevent him from doing so.
“Political sanctions do not even allow me to enter the countries where I have my activity and office in Warsaw, for example. The European Union does not allow me to enter the Schengen countries despite my success and love for these countries, and many embassies refuse to grant me a visa,” he said.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.