Samson: Kuwait seeks $18 billion to rebuild Iraq

12th January, 2018

by Kuwait – Mahmoud Bedair, Iraq – Ahmed al-Nuaimi

The Iraqi street is looking forward to the Iraq Reconstruction  Conference  scheduled for February 12-14, at a time when the government is still unable to provide a clear program for the reconstruction of more than 200  destroyed cities instead of thousands of villages in the north, west and central The country. 

Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Austria, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Venezuela, Kuwait, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey are among the countries participating in the conference. 

The sources, who preferred not to disclose their identity, that  donor countries Will speak at the second session of the conference after the opening and will announce the value of its pledges, which is expected to approximate $ 18 billion, pointing out that the grant of Kuwait is likely to reach between 100 and 150 million dollars. 

The sources said that the conference will be held with the support of the World Bank, indicating that “the reconstruction phase is the most important challenges facing the Iraqi government after the liberation of cities, and there is a thoughtful plan to restore services to liberated cities, followed by the stage of reconstruction and rehabilitation of different sectors.” 

The conference comes after donations by Kuwait, mid-2016, to establish medical centers, schools and hospitals in a number of cities of  Iraq , including Basra, Baghdad, Salahuddin, Anbar and other areas.

Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said during a press conference held in Kuwait by the Secretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, Mahdi Al-Alak, that “Kuwait has started preparations for the conference after the Emir announced earlier his intention to host the International Donor Conference in Kuwait and contact the World Bank And the Iraqi government in this regard. ” 

As for the amounts Iraq needs to rebuild its devastated cities, the Secretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers said that “vital facilities in cities and liberated areas need 100 billion dollars.”
For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi said in a press statement on Tuesday, the conference to be held in Kuwait, describing the signals received by the country on support for the Iraq reconstruction conference positive, indicating that his country received positive responses from the United States, China and European countries. 

“A detailed report will be submitted tomorrow to the government on the extent of the destruction suffered by the liberated cities and the amounts needed for reconstruction, and the report will be published on the official website of the conference to be held in Kuwait.” 

“The reconstruction plan will be in two phases, the first between 2018 and 2022, and the second between 2023 and 2028,” Iraqi Planning Minister Salman Jumaili said in May.

The war in Iraq resulted in significant losses in the infrastructure of the liberated cities, including bridges, commercial complexes, hospitals, universities, schools, government departments, utilities, water and electricity plants, hundreds of factories, thousands of houses, and dozens of residential compounds. 

Iraqi engineers considered that the extent of the devastation of liberated cities could not be fully rehabilitated by the Iraqi government because of the enormous amounts it needs and the capabilities that are not available in the country.

“This conference will be attended by five main actors, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, Iraq and Kuwait, which means pushing the world’s donor countries to stand with Iraq to rebuild Iraq’s war-torn cities,” he said. Al-Douri said that “the destruction of cities is unprecedented in the history of Iraq since the occupation of the Mongols in Baghdad in 1258 until today.” 

For his part, security expert Nazim Al-Shammari told the “New Arab” that “the reconstruction conference means rehabilitation of liberated cities and re-life again, and this necessarily means pushing for security stability throughout the country and thus throughout the Arab region.”
The cities of Anbar, Mosul, Salah al-Din, Diyala and other areas in the belt of Baghdad to the destruction of a huge since the middle of 2014 when the fighting between the Iraqi forces and the organization of “Daash,” and fought fierce battles in those cities resulted in the destruction of thousands of homes and commercial complexes and government departments and institutions, and dozens of residential neighborhoods In full because of the use of Iraqi forces and the International Alliance of missiles and heavy weapons in the bombing of these cities. 

The Iraqi government hopes for a good financial outcome from  the donors’ conference, which would reduce the period of reconstruction of war-torn liberated cities, especially in light of the worsening budget deficit and inability to provide the required funds for this purpose.   LINK
Samson:  A massive demonstration of airline employees to demand the renewal of contracts and the payment of salaries late six months ago

 12th January, 2018
Dozens of Iraqi Airways employees took part in a massive demonstration demanding the renewal of their contracts and the release of their salaries on the back of reports that the Ministry of Transport had canceled all contracts, witnesses said in Baghdad on Friday. Staff members of the Iraqi Airways Company.

They said that “dozens of employees of the contracts of operations of Iraqi Airways demonstrated, this morning, in the center of the capital Baghdad to demand the renewal of contracts with banners demanding the payment of salaries delayed six months ago.”   LINK

Samson:  Iraq calls on Europe to lift the ban on its flights

2018/1/11 21:06

The Civil Aviation Authority has called on the European Union to lift the ban on Iraqi Airways and allow it to fly in the countries of the Union.

A Transport Ministry official received a copy of the report from the Ministry of Transport and the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Abbas Omran, held a meeting with the Ambassador of the European Union Mission in Baghdad, Ramon Belkwa, to discuss the summary of the report of the EASA and the International Civil Aviation Organization Assessing the status of the Iraqi civil aviation authority and also discussing the lifting of the European embargo on Iraqi Airways. ” 

“The European Civil Aviation Agency (EASA) and the International Aviation Organization (ICAO) have already held two meetings with the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority in the Jordanian capital of Amman, during which they evaluated the work of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority.” The meeting was called ” With the Iraqi civil aviation authority for the return of the green bird flying over European airspace. “

The statement pointed out that “the Iraqi airspace has become an important route for Arab and foreign airlines and through which daily passes more than 500 aircraft passing.”   LINK


Samson:  Deals worth $ 6 billion between Iran and Italy

20:03 – 11/01/2018  
Italy and Iran have signed an initial credit agreement to fund investments worth up to 5 billion euros ($ 6.02 billion) in Iran, the Italian Economy Ministry said on Thursday.

The agreement was signed between two Iranian financial institutions, the Bank of Industry and Mines, the Middle East Bank and Italy’s state-owned investment arm, Italy’s Investment Group, the ministry said in a statement.

The funds will be used for projects jointly implemented by Italian and Iranian companies in sectors including infrastructure, construction, oil and gas, electric power, chemicals, petrochemicals and metallurgical industries.

The statement added that the Iranian government will provide a sovereign guarantee of the value of contracts concluded.


Samson:  Greek capital comes to standstill amid strike

 12th January, 2018

The Athens subway came to a standstill on Friday as Greeks protested against new reforms that parliament is set to approve on January 15 in return for bailout funds, including restrictions on the right to strike.

In the first major industrial upheaval of 2018, the shutdown of the Athens metro, used by some 938,000 commuters daily, caused traffic gridlock in the city of 3.8 million people.

Ships were unable to sail as workers went on strike and state-run hospitals had to rely on reserve staff as doctors walked off the job. More work stoppages were expected on Monday.
The bill pending approval in parliament on Monday would reduce family benefits, introduce a new process for foreclosures on overdue loans, and make it harder to call a strike.

It has outraged many Greeks, who have seen living conditions and incomes plummet since the country first sought international aid to stave off bankruptcy in 2010, and required another two bailouts afterwards.

At present, unions can call strikes with the support of one-third of their members. The new law would raise that to just over 50 percent, which creditors hope would limit the frequency of strikes and improve productivity that lags about 20 percent behind the EU average.

PAME, a communist-affiliated union, was scheduled to hold a demonstration in central Athens at midday (1000 GMT) on Friday.

“Blood was shed by generations which came before us to have the right to strike. Now a so-called left wing government is trying to abolish it,” said Nicos Papageorgiou, a 50 year old hotel worker.

Syriza, the dominant party in the government elected in 2015, has its roots in left-wing labor activism.

Papageorgiou and about 200 other PAME members rallied outside the finance ministry on Thursday evening. Earlier in the week, there were angry scenes when some union members burst into the labor ministry, demanding the government rescind the bill.

ADEDY, the largest union of public-sector workers, scheduled a work stoppage for Monday.
The government says it needs the reforms to receive tranches of bailout aid. The latest bailout, worth up to 86 billion euros ($104 billion), expires in August. So far Greece has received 40.2 billion euros, and a new tranche is expected to be worth around 4.5 billion euros.   LINK

Cleitus:  Last week I commented on an article that the Greek people were going to have a substantial amount of their income reduced. After all someone has to pay back all those loans doled out in the past to the socialist/communist governments of Greece.  My comments, at the time, were only two words. They were, “stay tuned…”   Well, here you go. In my opinion it would take a Houdini-like leader in Greece to prevent violence in the streets. It may not turn out so good for the present communists running the country! 

This may get real ugly. When was the last time you saw Communists protesting in a peaceful way?!   Again…, stay tuned!

Tommy17:  Margaret Thatcher once said about socialism sooner or later you eventually run out of somebody’s else’s money.

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