The Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister Salem Fayyad met on February 6th with union leaders and employers to discuss measures to decrease their growing debt crisis. The austerity measures approved in January by the PA produced public outcry and protest due to growing fears that any rise in taxation will drive away investments and further stifle economic growth. Nevertheless, Palestinian debt has tripled in the last three years to reach $1.1 Billion USD, and is set to get even larger as a result of the withdrawal of United States aid over the PA’s controversial UN bid for statehood. While the efforts of Fayyad in the past to create a Palestinian economy that could support statehood are praised by the IMF, many Western supporters point out that fiscal stability is integral to independence and political stability.
Ma’an News Agency, Palestinian Territories