Medicine needed: PM [Archives:2005/806/Front Page]

January 10 2005

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajamal says that Yemen's economy is sick and has to have medication, even if it is bitter and sour.

Bajamal who was speaking at a press conference Saturday stressed that his government is committed to carry out on the economic reform package, adding that price reform is very necessary to avoid any further deterioration and is meant against corrupt crooks.

Bajamal who was expected to comment on the price hikes of the oil derivatives which have been the main talk of the people recently did not say clearly when this step would be commenced.

He rather went on praising the steps taken by his government despite the criticism of the World Bank.

He said that the situation after the civil war of 1994 was very bad where the inflation rate soared to 77% , budget deficit 17% and unemployment 33%.

He pointed out that price reforms will be coincided with some reforms in the financial aspect like the customs system as well as the local governance, adding that some ministries and other government institutions would be restructured.

Meanwhile, according to UPI, Yemen's ruling General Popular Congress party accused the opposition of stirring anti-government sentiment in a dispute over economic reforms.

A party source charged Saturday the “misleading campaigns carried out by the so called opposition parties against the government are aimed at inciting strife and violence.”

The source accused the eight opposition parties represented in parliament of “being the symbols of corruption” and of opposing imminent economic reforms “for personal reasons and interests.”

Meanwhile, this comes as opposition members of parliament boycotted the vote on the 2005 state budget, which passed two days ago by a majority of the ruling party, the General People's Congress. The boycott was a protest of the anticipated economic dose and a symbol of the opposition's rejection of the proposed cuts in the government fuel subsidy and other basic commodities.