What are you waiting for, prime minister?

Maher abu tair
Maher Abu Tair (Photo: Jordan News)
With all due respect, we would like to ask the prime minister what he and his government, after months of taking office, are doing about the piling issues, some of which were inherited from previous governments and some of which are entirely new.اضافة اعلان

When you read the World Bank’s report on the unemployment rate among youth in Jordan, you realize that a social earthquake will strike at any moment now. It is not just a number, it is a very alarming rate indeed, as each unemployed Jordanian is a potential protester and complicit in a scenario that we would not like to see in Jordan and its streets, should anger outgrows sensibility.

This government did nothing regarding unemployment, nor did any other former government, with the exception of a few short-lived attempts with limited impact on mitigating unemployment and its domestic impacts.

The unemployment crisis is severely deepening and it does not require employment in the government itself, as former officials have overindulged their relatives for over 20 years and drowned the country in debt and unproductive jobs, but the government is required to at least cease its sway over the private sector, which has been exhausted by taxes and production costs. It is as if we have a parasitic public sector like an ascaris worm, feeding on the private sector to fulfil its many obligations and depleting it in the process. This has led to sever damage to the private sector, evident today in its inability to cover its liabilities, and create new jobs.

The government might show off the rise in Treasury revenues this year, but that is a narrow view of the scene, because a rise in revenues might not indicate economic prosperity or the beginning of economic recovery, as much as it indicates that many are paying their dues, by all means necessary, which might include borrowing to pay taxes, licensing fees, or other expenses.

The unemployment issue was not created by the current government, but it is still required to find solutions for it, and it is not doing so. In fact, the trend today is to point fingers at the pandemic as the cause for decline, so we must thank the COVID-19 virus, which spares government accountability and reproach, and is responsible not only for health issues, but every declining aspect of our country.

The other issue worth mentioning today and pleading to all officials, including the prime minister and his Cabinet, as well as everyone else, is to stop talking about attracting foreign investment, because which reckless and gambling investor would come to Jordan, when every couple of days they see social crises, blocked roads, confrontations between the public and Gendarmerie, protests, disturbances, and other scenes that have, unfortunately, become mundane to our eyes, as we wake up every morning to a new crisis.

The poor management on the domestic front has distorted the reputation of Jordan abroad, as everyone abroad thinks that the country is perched on top a volcanic vent, endangered, and unstable, so why would anyone sacrifice their fortune and come to Jordan to invest millions in an unsafe environment, open to all scenarios?

The domestic mismanagement has harmed Jordan’s reputation a lot, and wherever we look today, we are asked by Arabs and foreigners about what’s happening in Jordan. A negative image formulated of an unstable country on the edge, and we are now losing the privileges of a good reputation, and we can see no one trying to get them back, so maybe officials would be so generous as to stop talking unproductively about attracting foreign investment, and pay attention to Jordan’s reputation first, so that talk about attracting foreign investment would seem sensible and productive.

We are not trying to overload the prime minister, but these are chronic questions, the cost of which is accumulating. And hiding behind the coronavirus must end, and we must ask; respectfully, what is the government doing regarding all these issues?

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