Is economic austerity the Trojan Horse of "Arab Spring" for the Gulf countries?

2016/12/05 13:59

Is adopting austerity measures will open the chaos of "Arab Spring" to the Persian Gulf and will tremble the palaces of Gulf kings and princes?

USviewer: "Alexis de Tocqueville", French sociologist and philosopher of the nineteenth century, believed that "the most dangerous time for bad governments is when they reform."

last week, Arab countries of the Persian Gulf announced that they intend to impose value added tax on most consumable goods, and immediately many reactions were seen from the opponents of these monarchies.

Aside from the opposing positions of these systems, a significant internal community of compatible authors and intellectuals expressed worry about the imposition of VAT and the amounts deducted from employees' salaries. Saudi author, Khaled Al-akmy, in this regard in his page tweeted: "I warn the government if they, after the imposition of taxes, do not allow citizens to participate in political decision-making, the responsibility to break the link between people and the rulers will be theirs."

Doctor Ayman Al-Hamoud said: "When the Gulf countries share the pockets of citizens in solving their problems, they should also share them in decision-making cases".

Whatever mentioned was the words of scholars compatible to the Saudi government, which have tight control over their cyberspace; these quotes are from many words of the elite group of Gulf societies that have rung alarm for them.

Although some other assessed taxes in terms of Islam principles and referring to the prohibition of indirect taxes, warned that the tax will confuse the legitimacy of Saudi Arabia.

This is not, however, confined to Saudi Arabia. The Kuwait government also plans to implement a series of new austerity measures, but is afraid of protests by people and the tension of political atmosphere.

95 per cent of Qatar's economy relies on oil and gas exports, and it’s clear that falling oil prices caused serious impacts on it. Qatar for the first time in 15 years faced with a budget deficit of over 12 billion dollars and Emir of Qatar, last week, officially announced the government's decision for austerity in media and urged the citizens and residents of Qatar to reform their consumption culture.


Oman and the UAE have not been excluded from the controversy. Even the United Arab Emirates was the first Gulf state that from August 2015 took the austerity measures and in mid-2016, for the first time in ten years, fired thousands of foreign workers, especially in the field of oil and gas.


Economic changes have always been accompanied by growing demands for political reform and it will be more severe in the Gulf countries, because on the one hand, political repression and dictatorship of princes is more prominent than in other countries and on the other hand, 60 per cent of their population are young people who are driving forces of any revolution.

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