The Iraqi government is facing a severe shortage of liquidity due to lower oil prices (Washington Post)

Sunday March 06 2016 Issue number [13613]
Baghdad: to Ovdaa Morris
Described by some Iraqi officials as «gap», especially after it turned into a source of concern salt, just like the war to
organize Daash, so that the Iraqi government paid a month of nearly $ 4 billion, in the form of salaries and pensions
of the army, puffy and sector of government workers. However, given that the oil, which is more than 90 per cent of
government revenue source, this revenue has plunged by nearly half due to lower crude oil prices.

So the United States is working to try to ensure the country's ability to continue military spending, while the Iraqi
government is seeking international loans, and proceed with the application of an austerity plan. However, some
officials and analysts say that the Iraqi government might suffer later this year in order to provide workers in the
government sector, whose number is seven million employee wages, which could cause a spark popular protests.
With the decline in oil prices to nearly $ 30 a barrel, the region finds itself entirely driven by a boost to the wage cuts,
reduced government subsidies and other measures painful. But for Iraq, this reduction in spending comes in the
midst of a destabilizing war already for stability, where the country must repay the bills related to the reconstruction
of the cities destroyed by the war, and to provide for 3.3 million aid from the Iraqis, who have been internally
displaced over the past two years, and the rest Come.

While the specter of bankruptcy looming over the country, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is trying to tackle
corruption and increase government revenue through measures unpopular in some cases. In this context, the
appearance of Saleh said, Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister: «We have to Nrdm gap. The issue has become
really dangerous now .. and cash flow is very limited, and the old cash cow does not generate any milk ».

In recent weeks, a crowd of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr tens of thousands in protests calling for reform, which
would put pressure on al-Abadi. These protests similar to demonstrations that broke out during the summer, when it
came down thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to protest against government corruption, lack of electricity and
other services. But they will be demanding this year to pay more money for those services, while government
salaries were reduced by 3 per cent.

Sadr said the protesters «now corrupt government austerity demands of the people, and because of this government
is not known the fate of billions», adding that the demonstrations are «an attempt to save Iraq from looters». Iraqis
are facing a more than nominal costs per day. Hospitals that were over a long time dealing with the Iraqis free of
charge has been introduced, with a nominal fee, even to those who visit the relatives of patients. There are plans to
increase electricity tariffs. Traders are also demonstrated in the southern city of Basra, in protest against the tariff

But al-Abadi said that the government should provide money wherever they can, especially after Iraq, predicted a
budget deficit of around $ 25 million this year, but this was based on the arrival of oil prices to $ 45 a barrel.
Therefore Saleh says that the deficit may be double that figure.

To deal with this deficit in the short term, Iraq uses Baanaatyate of foreign exchange, saying he expected the
reserves to fall to about $ 43 billion this year, compared with 59 billion dollars in October (October).

While al-Abadi said he was confident the government's ability to overcome the crisis, some are expressing a more
pessimistic. As a Western official said on condition of anonymity that the Iraqis «have depleted their reserves faster
than expected now, which could lead to the stage it is difficult to then continue to import, and management of a
modern economy.»

Iraq is seeking to get more money from the International Monetary Fund, after receiving an urgent loan of $ 1.24
billion last year, while the United States is offering a loan of $ 2.7 billion for military spending, while loaned Germany
Iraq a little over 500 thousand dollars for reconstruction . As the Iraqi government is seeking to issue treasury bills
and bonds. But the process for the issuance of bonds last year stopped because of the high yield that investors
demand. This at a time when Iraqis complain that their leaders steal from the country without any accountability.

* Service: «The Washington Post»