Ibrahim Sharif Warns: Bahrain might Face Financial Crisis Similar to Greece
2017-10-12 - 7:11 p
Bahrain Mirror: The prominent dissident Ibrahim Sharif warned on Wednesday (October 11, 2017) that Bahrain might face financial crisis similar to that witnessed in Greece in 2010, calling to take measures to confront the increase in governmental debt.
Greece witnessed a severe financial crisis that aggravated in 2014 when the governmental debt reached 177% of the GDP.
Sharif said during a seminar in the National Democratic Action Society (Wa'ad) that the public debt interest reached more than half a billion BD each year, wondering "what has the government done with the 6 billion that it borrowed during the past 16 years?"
The Bahraini government increased the ceiling of public debt to $13 billion last July; which accounts to over 70% of the GDP.
Sharif expected that the government would take austerity measures during the two coming years; noting that these measures would affect citizens, like raising the retirement age.
Wa'ad leader, who spoke about the ballooning of government expenses, said that more than 400 million BD are spent without being added to the general state budget, adding "some of them might be necessary, but they have to be discussed with representatives of the people."
He went on to explain that about 16% of the state budget is allocated for the ministry of defence, adding that this percentage is high and exceeds all the international ratios. Sharif also demanded to decrease military spending.
Ibrahim Sharif called for achieving economic reforms and imposing tax on annual profits derived by the companies, big earners and large estates owners, pointing out that this tax may provide 5-10% of the GDP.
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