Jordan faces its historical reckoning

…..  After former Prime Minister Hani Mulki had proposed in early May reforms to address a multiyear economic adjustment plan agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other donors, it became clear that the government had pushed past the limit of what citizens could bear financially or accept politically.

Jordanians are and feel poor after years of gradual austerity, according to the recently published 2016 data from the Arab Barometer survey. This shows that only 35 percent of Jordanians can meet their families’ needs without difficulty, while 64 percent face difficulty or cannot meet their expenses. At the same time, the state has exhausted existing ways to raise enough revenue to cover its core current expenses of salaries and loan interest payments. …..

How to introduce meaningful changes

…………..The $3bn emergency aid that came into the treasury this summer gives Razzaz some breathing space to formulate new policies that bridge the massive gap between the state’s fiscal needs and the citizens’ demand for political dignity and material well-being.

One of his biggest challenges is citizens’ large distrust in his government and the system, in general. Recent polls by the respected local NAMA Consultants and the University of Jordan Strategic Studies Center indicate a steady decline in how citizens view the government’s track record in serving the people – from around 65 percent in 2011 to just 35 percent today. Equally troubling are Arab Barometer findings that a large majority, 79 percent, feel that corruption exists in state institutions, and the two biggest concerns of Jordanians are the economy and corruption.


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