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    Turkey's business group slams AKP populist policitics

    Hurriyet English
    27.05.2008 - 15:57 | Son Güncelleme:

    We see the government signaling a step back in the reform process and a return to populist political implementations that we have not seen for years, Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) said on Tuesday. (UPDATED)

    "An increase in the amount of the funds transferred from the central budget to municipalities, the spending of resources in the unemployment fund and the cutting of the primary surplus are all signs of populist political moves," said TUSIAD chair Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, during her speech at gathering for the launch of TUSIAD's "A Sectoral Look at Turkey's Industry" report.


    "As revealed previously in Turkey's economic history, spending made in terms of populist politics in the long-run comes at a much greater cost," Yalcindag added.


    Turkey cut its primary surplus target, the anchor of the country's budget performance, for 2008 from 4.2 percent of GNP to 3.5 percent.


    The government's other decisions; the amnesty to the premium debts of employers to Social Security Institution (SSK), using the income from privatizations for public sector investment instead of lessening the debts and amending the public tender law must also be seen as the politics of populism, Yalcindag said.


    Turkey's Trade Minister, Zafer Caglayan also attending the meeting responded to Yalcindag's statement saying recent moves taken by the government, such as the SSK debt amnesty and the launch of GAP, should not be assessed as populist politics.


    In defense of the government's amnesty decision, Caglayan said, "Collecting some funds would be much better than collecting none under the current circumstances." The GAP project also should not be see as a populist move since it would remove the difference between Turkey's southeastern, east and the other regions, he added.  


    The prime minister unveiled the GAP project that targets major social and regional development for Turkey's southeastern region in Diyarbakir on Tuesday.


    Photo: AA 

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