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Halqi Claims Syria's Debts Less than Half a Billion Dollars

Economists say the premier's claims do not match national figures
Halqi Claims Syria's Debts Less than Half a Billion Dollars

The Prime Minister Wael Al-Halqi has claimed that Syria’s debts do not exceed half a billion dollars and assured that Syria’s debt is decreasing through timely payments. The statement contradicts national economic figures.


The Syrian economy is suffering as a result of massive military expenditure and destruction of infrastructure. Syria, however is unable to find a source of funding, other than borrowing from its allies.


Syria’s debts even during stable times were at about $9 billion in 2010, making the premier’s claims unconvincing.


Debt formed about 30% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the budget deficit was about $3.5 billion in 2011, while the reserves at the Syrian Central Bank were about $18 billion, according to regime officials.


The deficit today has doubled and military expenditure has increased. Reserves are finished, as is foreign currency trade as a result of international sanctions and the lack of economic activity. Corruption is rife and loans are far greater than what the government claims.


For example, the regime stated that Iran had provided only a $5 billion dollar loan (sometimes it becomes $3 billion). The question is:  Where does the regime get the funds for the war against country?


Experts and observers say that the debts have reached 60% of the GDP, or about $55 billion before the revolution. According to these numbers, debt is now at $55 billion at best, if we take into consideration the decrease in the GDP and the increase in debt and the deficit.


The observers say military spending is now 40% more than previously. All this means Syrian will be heavily indebted even after the fall of the regime.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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