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Zig’s Place Chat Room Discussion and News Friday PM 2-12-21

Zig:  Welcome to zig’s place, a chat room for dinar speculators and others….discuss any topic that you wish here

Butterfly   https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/economy/iraq-s-economy-to-return-to-its-pre-pandemic-level-by-2024-imf-says-1.1164897

butterfly  Iraq’s economy to return to its pre-pandemic level by 2024, IMF says The country’s GDP is expected to surge 1.2% this year  An aerial view of Baghdad. Iraq’s economy shrank by almost 11 per cent last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a sharp decline in oil revenues. Reuters

Alkesh Sharma  February 12, 2021  Iraq’s economy, which shrank by almost 11 per cent last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a sharp decline in oil revenues, is projected to return to its pre-pandemic level by 2024, the International Monetary Fund said.

The slowdown in the real gross domestic product reflects a drop in non-oil activity and reductions in oil output as a result of Opec+ decisions, the fund said.

“Large fiscal and external current account deficits of 20 per cent and 16 per cent of the GDP, respectively, constrained the government’s ability to mount an effective fiscal response to the crisis,” the IMF said.

The IMF has stressed up on the importance of reducing corruption in key public institutions and restructuring of large state-owned banks to foster financial stability and developing the private sector.

The Iraqi authorities have started taking much-needed steps towards ensuring future economic stability. To help safeguard foreign exchange reserves and reduce the external imbalance, the Central Bank of Iraq has announced a devaluation of the exchange rate. Iraq devalued its currency by about 23 per cent against the US dollar on December 20. This adjustment would help reduce external imbalances and preserve foreign exchange reserves, the fund said.

butterfly   The draft 2021 budget aims to reduce the fiscal deficit through various measures to contain the unsustainable expansion of government wage, pension bills and to raise non-oil revenues, the IMF added.

Owing to the efforts, Iraqi economy is expected to gradually recover this year. It is expected to grow 1.2 per cent and 3.9 per cent in 2021 and 2022, respectively, according to the IMF forecast. The economy grew 4.5 per cent in 2019.

The fiscal and external current account deficits are projected to decline over the medium term. Government debt is expected to peak in 2023 and decline gradually thereafter, the fund said.

Iraq, Opec’s second-largest oil producer, is highly reliant on oil revenue to foot 90 per cent of government expenditure, including $5 billion spent on salaries for public servants each month.

The IMF also cautioned that political constraints ahead of the parliamentary elections and renewed bouts of social unrest could undermine the reform efforts.

Furthermore, pandemic‑related risks and oil market uncertainties could further complicate the economic situation, it added.

butterfly   https://timep.org/commentary/analysis/hate-speech-social-media-and-political-violence-in-iraq-virtual-civil-society-and-upheaval/ Hate Speech, Social Media and Political Violence in Iraq: Virtual Civil Society and Upheaval

butterfly  https://ekurd.net/dno-buys-exxon-mobils-2021-02-12 DNO buys Exxon Mobil’s stake in Iraqi Kurdistan

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Editorial Staff in Oil & Gas

butterfly   https://shafaq.com/en/Report/Mosul-s-right-side-where-time-has-been-suspended-for-30-years Mosul’s right side: where time has been suspended for 30 years

butterfly  2021-02-12 05:05   Shafaq News / More than three decades have passed and yet some neighborhoods on the right side of Mosul are still rural, although they are located within one of Iraq’s most prominent cities that dates back more than 3,000 years.

Shafaq News agency’s reporter toured these neighborhoods and documented through his lens the dire situation, where there is no infrastructure, no sewers, and no paved roads that save the people from mud whenever it rains. He also met with several residents who expressed strong dissatisfaction with the neglect of successive local governments, while some complained about the officials’ regional discrimination.

“No one remembers us”

“Do not be surprised by what you see here. Officials only remember us on election days. Many promised us and all of them lied, and we do not know whom to complain to. Whenever we visit the relevant departments, they promise us services, and so far, nothing has changed”, said Ahmed, a resident of The Rajim Hadid area.

Skin diseases

Um Ammar reveals another problem that threatens these neighborhoods’ residents’ health – especially children – saying, “We are tired of our lives, the houses in which we live have become more like ruins because there are no sewers, no paved roads, and we rarely see the municipality’s wheels”.

She noted that skin diseases have begun to spread among children, “from time to time, we visit dermatologists’ clinics due to the diseases that our children are getting”.

Um Ammar added, “We received this land deservedly because my husband was a deputy officer in the Iraqi army. But despite all of my husband’s sacrifices, we live in this humiliating situation in areas that are not suitable for humans”.

“Regional discrimination”

An elderly man described his displeasure with the situation, “Our lives are despicable. Many other neighborhoods on the right side of the city share the same misery with us, such as Tal Al-Rumman, Al-Ma’amoun, Al-Tanak, Rajim Hadid, and others”.

butterfly   https://shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Non-disclosure-agreement-between-Iran-and-Al-Kadhimi-Sources “Non-disclosure” agreement between Iran and Al-Kadhimi, Sources

butterfly  2021-02-12 11:24 Shafaq News / political sources said, on Friday, that a “non-disclosure” agreement had been reached between Iraq ‘Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Iranian officials, to prevent rocket attacks on US facilities in Iraq.

Al-Kadhimi enters into private negotiations with Iran to stop the attacks targeting the US embassy in Baghdad which launched by Pro-Iranian armed factions. The sources told Shafaq News Agency.

U.S. officials blame Iran-backed militia for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including near the embassy in Baghdad. No known Iran-backed groups have claimed responsibility.

butterfly  https://shafaq.com/en/Iraq-News/Britain-s-vaccine-drive-is-ALREADY-stopping-Covid-deaths-study Britain’s vaccine drive is ALREADY stopping Covid deaths, study

butterfly 2021-02-12 10:04  Shafaq News/ Covid vaccines are already preventing deaths in the UK and could be stopping nine out of 10 by the middle of March, scientists predict.

Modeling by medical experts suggests there will be a significant dip in the number of people dying of coronavirus next month as mass immunity begins to develop.

Reductions in hospital admissions will come later, dropping by two thirds by the second half of March, with intensive care admissions falling by 36 per cent.

Benefits of vaccination may already be reducing the death toll by as much as 10 per cent, the researchers suggested, but this is difficult to see in data because lockdown is also bringing the numbers down.

The impact of vaccines will affect age groups in reverse order – the same order they are vaccinated in – which dictates the data that will show changes first.

The average age of people dying from Covid is 83, the team said, while hospital patients are 73, on average, and intensive care patients 61.

When everyone over 60 has had a vaccine, deaths could be reduced by a staggering 96 per cent, with hospitalizations down 80 per cent.

A total of 13.5million people had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine by today and the NHS looks on track for its target of reaching 15million by Monday.

A vast majority of people in the four most vulnerable groups – over-80s, NHS staff, care workers and the extremely vulnerable – are set to have been immunized by February 15, meaning they should be protected from Covid-19 by the start of March.

It will then take a further three to five weeks for the remainder of people in those groups who catch coronavirus before protection kicks in to die and be reported.

If the vaccines work as well as expected – almost total protection against death – deaths in those four groups should plummet from the middle of March onwards, the scientists suggest, and stay low.

The study was done by Professor Tim Cook, an intensive care doctor and University of Bris

butterfly  IF YOU DIDN’T SEE THIS EARLIER, here it is again. https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/economy/iraq-s-economy-to-return-to-its-pre-pandemic-level-by-2024-imf-says-1.1164897

Iraq’s economy to return to its pre-pandemic level by 2024, IMF says

The country’s GDP is expected to surge 1.2% this year

butterfly Iraq’s economy, which shrank by almost 11 per cent last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a sharp decline in oil revenues, is projected to return to its pre-pandemic level by 2024, the International Monetary Fund said.

The slowdown in the real gross domestic product reflects a drop in non-oil activity and reductions in oil output as a result of Opec+ decisions, the fund said.

“Large fiscal and external current account deficits of 20 per cent and 16 per cent of the GDP, respectively, constrained the government’s ability to mount an effective fiscal response to the crisis,” the IMF said.

The IMF has stressed up on the importance of reducing corruption in key public institutions and restructuring of large state-owned banks to foster financial stability and developing the private sector.

The Iraqi authorities have started taking much-needed steps towards ensuring future economic stability. To help safeguard foreign exchange reserves and reduce the external imbalance, the Central Bank of Iraq has announced a devaluation of the exchange rate. Iraq devalued its currency by about 23 per cent against the US dollar on December 20. This adjustment would help reduce external imbalances and preserve foreign exchange reserves, the fund said.

butterfly   The draft 2021 budget aims to reduce the fiscal deficit through various measures to contain the unsustainable expansion of government wage, pension bills and to raise non-oil revenues, the IMF added.

Owing to the efforts, Iraqi economy is expected to gradually recover this year. It is expected to grow 1.2 per cent and 3.9 per cent in 2021 and 2022, respectively, according to the IMF forecast. The economy grew 4.5 per cent in 2019.

The fiscal and external current account deficits are projected to decline over the medium term. Government debt is expected to peak in 2023 and decline gradually thereafter, the fund said.

Iraq, Opec’s second-largest oil producer, is highly reliant on oil revenue to foot 90 per cent of government expenditure, including $5 billion spent on salaries for public servants each month.

The IMF also cautioned that political constraints ahead of the parliamentary elections and renewed bouts of social unrest could undermine the reform efforts.

Furthermore, pandemic‑related risks and oil market uncertainties could further complicate the economic situation, it added.

butterfly  https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/458017/Iran-s-top-judge-holds-talks-with-Iraqi-leaders Iran’s top judge holds talks with Iraqi leaders

butterfly   On Monday, February 8, Ayatollah Raisi paid a two-day visit to Iraq. During his meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, the two sides signed three memoranda of understanding to boost judicial and legal cooperation between the two neighboring countries.

The documents were inked in Baghdad on Tuesday by the prosecutor generals, justice ministers, and heads of the two countries’ prison organizations, according to Press TV.

Upon his arrival in Iraq, Iran’s Judiciary chief visited the site near Baghdad International Airport, where the U.S. assassinated top Iranian and Iraqi anti-terror commanders General Qassem Soleimani and his comrade Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

“Deserving conclusion”

During his meeting with al-Kadhimi, Ayatollah Raisi said Iran expects a “deserving conclusion” for the General Soleimani assassination case, underlining that the American drone strike that martyred General Soleimani and al-Muhandis violated Iraq’s sovereignty.

“The U.S. violated Iraq’s sovereignty, dominance, and laws by assassinating Martyrs Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Muhandis. We insist that the case should reach a deserving conclusion as soon as possible with Iran and Iraq’s cooperation,” the chief of Iran’s Judiciary said during a Tuesday meeting with the Iraqi prime minister.

Ayatollah Raisi also called for a due punishment of those implicated in the assassination of General Soleimani.

He said due punishment of the perpetrators and others, who provided a criminal contribution to the atrocities, would preempt the potential repeat of such atrocities in the future.

The office of the Iraqi prime minister issued a statement following al-Kadhimi’s meeting with Ayatollah Raisi.

“The two sides discussed joint bilateral relations, enhancing cooperation in the judicial and legal fields between the two countries, as well as discussing a number of other issues,” the statement said.

Al-Kadhimi pointed to the historical, geographical, religious and cultural ties between Iran and Ira, in addition

cian   https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2021/02/11/pr2137-iraq-imf-executive-board-concludes-2020-article-iv-consultation?cid=em-COM-123-42639

Press Release No. 21/37  ► IMF Executive Board Concludes 2020 Article IV Consultation with Iraq

February 11, 2021  Washington, DC: On February 8, 2021 the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation [1] with Iraq.

13 Feb 21, 02:14 AM cian   Exchange rate (dinar per US$; period average)

2019       2020       2021         2022        2023       2024       2025         2026

1,182      1,191     1,450        1,450        1,450       1,450       1,450         1,450

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