Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Iraq's battered economy

It is Reuters' day as offering three stories on Iraqi oil and battered economy.

In one of them, Ahmed Rasheed reports Iraqi Oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani's reply to parliament's oil and gas committee on the multi-billion dollar natural gas deal Iraq signed with Royal Dutch Shell last year.

Al-Shahristani said the initial agreement would not allow Shell to set the price for gas sold within Iraq's domestic market.And The Associated Press quoted him as saying local energy demands would be the top priority and not the exports. [ENDLESS POLITICAL CONFLICT]

On the second story, Suleiman al-Khalidi reports that Iraq's budget deficit could soar to $25 bln (17.2 billion pounds) this year if oil exports stay at their current low levels. [EXPECTED AND THE WORSE TO COME]

The country's Finance Minister, Bayan Jabor, said the government is mulling new taxes and import duties to boost revenues. [OF COURSE THE ONLY ONE WILL BE AFFECTED IS THE NORMAL CITIZEN]

And the third was brought by, Mohammed Abbas, who also quoted Jabor as saying that the government is considering securing a $7-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to enhance its shaky budget. [BEGGING JUST STARTED]