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    Erdal Saglam: Turkish public will carry the burden of IMF deal delay

    Hürriyet Haber
    28.10.2008 - 11:32 | Son Güncelleme:

    People have different personal views and perspectives, as well as limits, about what they can or cannot do? Diversified individual thought is normal, and what is more, it is a situation that should exist.

    But individuals should not allow their own personal views to impact the country's best interests when they are in power, since they carry the responsibilities of millions.

     

    Politics is a job which should be undertaken with the aim of increasing the welfare and freedom of society. Therefore, you should always assess domestic and international balances for society’s interests and decide on action according to this. You shouldn't step into the role of politics if you cannot do this.

     

    FACTS DON'T CHANGE

    A prime minister can personally like or dislike the IMF.

     

    But loving or hating the IMF doesn't change the facts. If you are thinking of the welfare of the nation, you should assess relations with the IMF in this context and behave in a manner that would lead to greater wealth in society. The government’s tasks cannot be carried out through anger or by shouting. You should behave with commonsense and logic following a path that leads to a bettering of the long-term interests of your country.

     

    If something you personally oppose is good for your country, you should put your personal beliefs and emotions aside.

     

    I mention this in an effort to show that we should see our relations with the IMF in the frame of what is best for the long-term interests of the country. A government that restored economic stability with the assistance of an IMF deal and won the national elections with a 47 percent majority cannot say that this fund is "trying to strangle us". If this is what they are saying, then they should be reminded of their past remarks about the IMF and how they signed an agreement with the fund.

     

    LOCAL ELECTIONS IS THE SOLE REASON

    The general public is always said to have a short memory. But I don't think that the society has such a short a memory that it would forget. And what do you think their reaction will be if you make these remarks in opposition to the IMF and the go ahead and sign an agreement in November?

     

    When you look at Erdogan's remarks regarding the IMF, it is understood that he had decided to sign an agreement with the fund, but that now they are pushing to negotiate. In my view, the local elections are the sole issue in these negotiations.It is clear the prime minister is being advised that the party could maintain its high majority in the coming local elections and that to do so they should increase spending; however, an IMF deal would conflict with the party’s interests.

     

    In other words, the prime minister wants a deal with IMF if they let him spend and create a budget that includes this spending.

     

    The country’s businesses and the markets are expecting the government to sign an agreement with the IMF and say that stability cannot be restored unless this agreement is signed. It is obvious that the prime minister is angered by those circles voicing these opinions as they interfere with his plan...

     

    The prime minister's obstinacy increases the cost of the global crisis for Turkey. We hear a rise in news of job cuts and the closures of Small and Medium size Enterprises (SME). The term for syndicated loans is due to expire, and should any problems arise, we can even look for foreign currency levels that we have now.

     

    Doesn't the prime minister see the hikes in fuel prices in Turkey, despite a decline in oil prices, and how the lira has fallen against the dollar? Even exporters have begun to voice their concerns over the sharp drop in the Turkish lira currency.

     

    The costs for businesses to grow are on the rise and society is becoming poorer. The prime minister says, "what ever the cost", but eventually they will sign, and if this is the case, why cause these losses?

     

    Turkish society will pay the price of this delay and poverty will rise: Do you think the public will not notice this?

     

     

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