King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is taking action to try to prevent the civil unrest that is sweeping other neighboring countries by offering up $36 billion dollars in aid to his citizens.
The measures include a 15% salary increase for public employees to offset inflation, reprieves for imprisoned debtors, and financial aid for students and the unemployed.
The oil and cash-rich Saudi government has pledged to spend $400 billion dollars by the end of 2014 to improve education, infrastructure and healthcare. “The king is trying to create wider trickle- down of wealth in the shape of social welfare,’’ said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at Banque Saudi Fransi. “The budget can handle that, but it is an aspirin to ease medium-term pain, not a solution for the long-term housing, and unemployment issue.”
The question looms, will the Saudi king be able to appease his citizens with handouts in order to prevent further civil unrest?
My guess is no, at least over the long term.
Freedom is on the march in the Middle East, and I definitely wouldn’t want to be a dictator over one of those countries.
Will the United States speak in favor of the citizens or will the Obama administration sit tight with their mouths shut as they have thus far. People want to be free and it’s a shame that our governmental leaders won’t come out in support of the struggling citizens that have been under dictatorial type leaders for so many years.
The time to rise up is apparently now…and the USA sits back twiddling it’s thumbs.