Saturday, 20 September 2008

The appearance and the disappearance of the middle class in Syria

After the epidemic inflation which hit the world, a lot of questions have appeared and its answers are must. Are we still having a middle class in Syria? I know that this question is critical for a lot, however, we must discus it. According the Syrian statistics authority, Syria poverty rate is around 10 %. This is an official number; however, a lot of experts deny this number and say that it is far more than this number. We aren’t discussing here the meanings of these number and we are not going to go in a debate between those who are with and against the official number.

It is something needs pages and pages to be discussed in. What we are trying here is a trial to clarify how the fall in basic services has affected the middle class in Syrian and convert it to the barriers of poverty. Since Syrian government has taken the decision to convert the Syrian economy from that which depends on central planning and social basics, to that which depends on the market economy and free market (the government has named it as a social market economy to absorb the reactions which condemn the new economic policy of the Syrian government.

Al lot of factors play a role in the continuous increase of poverty rate in Syrian and hence the disappearance of the middle class which was historically the main advantage of the social . The new economic policy pushes the government to increase the prices of a lot of services. During one year, Syrian government has increased the prices of Diesel, electricity , benzene ……. The main danger on the middle class was the diesel prices which “hit the counter ‘ of the Syrian budgets . Simply, increasing diesel prices affect on all fields. It has increased the transportation prices, the manufactured goods prices and the cost of the agricultural products. The government has justified these increases that it happens due to the international increases in fuel prices and to stop the trafficking of these “cheap products” across the borders to neighbor countries which these products prices are mush higher than Syria.


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