Saturday, November 17, 2012

The spokesperson of the US Department of State urges the Jordanian people to accept the pain inflicted on them by the puppet King

"MS. NULAND: It’s the IMF who’s made clear that the kinds of subsidies that the government has been providing are not sustainable for a modern economy, and that adjustments need to be made. We have supported the IMF, as in this case, and we support King Abdullah and his government in the change that they’re trying to implement inside Jordan, which they’ve got to do in order to modernize the state.
QUESTION: Well, that’s all well and good, but if I’m a Jordanian and I sit here and listen to the Spokeswoman for the State Department say that this is “necessary pain,” that’s just – who are you to tell me what’s necessary and what’s not?
MS. NULAND: Again, this is a set of reforms that need to be undertaken. It’s not easy. It’s never easy. It’s not easy in the European context; it’s not easy in the American context when we have to make adjustments to deal with our fiscal situation. But all of us are having to deal with these things in one way or another these days.
Please, Said.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) that these protests are economically driven and not politically driven? In other words, because they’ve cut off subsidies and so on.
MS. NULAND: The timing appears to be a reaction to the fuel-price increases.
QUESTION: But often, if you talk to people who protest when subsidies are cut off, they feel like it’s because there’s a big discrepancy between those that are elite and have money, and the subsidy is one of the few things that they benefit from, which I think is kind of a follow-up to Matt’s question, which is: Are you concerned that the masses in Jordan, who maybe feel like they’ve been economically marginalized by the elite, don’t see the reforms happening soon enough?
MS. NULAND: Again, without getting into the weeds of the Jordanian reform process, we have supported the King and the government’s efforts to reform the political and economic system in Jordan. This is something that we think is necessary to modernize the state. It’s obviously up to Jordanians to ensure that the pace is right, that the choices are right, that over time this is going to lead to an improvement in the quality of life for citizens. We have supported the IMF’s work with Jordan to support their reform effort and will continue to do that. But these – as I said, it doesn’t matter where you’re trying to make fiscal reforms; it is often difficult and it has to be worked through.
QUESTION: Sorry, one follow-up to that. In terms of the pain that you were speaking about that is sort of – that the economy – that the people have to feel – what within the reforms do you – can you speak to that the elite has sort of felt in terms of these reforms?
MS. NULAND: Again, I’m not in a position here to evaluate the entire reform package in Jordan. But this is --
QUESTION: But you did say that, I mean, the entire – but you are sort of evaluating the subsidies being cut as being part of that reform package.
MS. NULAND: But this is part of a larger package that is affecting the entire economy and the entire population."