Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is Syria next?

Before you dismiss this question as a sweet dream, consider the following:

1.  The catalyst that drove people to the streets of Tunisia and Egypt now, as opposed to say six months ago, is rising food prices. This is a global phenomenon that is impacting all countries, including Syria.

2. Assad is clearly sweating. Take a look at the interview he had with the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The timing of the interview is itself enough evidence of the pressure he is facing.  

3. The last two days have seen a remarkable "buzz" around activists that seem to be organising for demonstrations in Syria.  One Facebook group got a remarkable 10,000 members in 3 days. You can read more about it on CNN, the FT, WSJ.

Sure Syria is a controlled economy, so international price increases are not automatically translated into domestic prices. But this means Syria's subsidy bill needs to increase sharply. The Economist had a good article in its January 20 issue highlighting the tough choices the government is facing, as well as its shrinking pool of subsidies.

1 comment:

  1. Everybody wants to oust their government and ours just ousts itself