The signing of several economic agreements on January 16 between Iran and Syria confirmed the persistently strong strategic relations between the two countries.
The editor-in-chief of The Syria Report, Jihad Yazigi, has given a long interview to Mediapart, a French news website, on the prevailing economic situation in Syria.
The Syria Report and its editor have been featured in a report published by the International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times.
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One of the main questions surrounding the Syrian uprising at the beginning of 2012 was if and when an economic collapse would occur. As the year draws to a close, the question has instead become whether one can still talk of “a” Syrian economy as such.
While there is a general consensus that the uprising gripping Syria since March 2011 is part of the broader regional movement for better governance and more freedoms, there has been little debate as to the extent to which the economic and social conditions prevailing in the country contributed to the uprising. The question of whether Syrians revolted because of their thirst for freedom, justice and dignity or whether they did so because of their poor economic and social conditions remains, however, important if one wants to understand the reasons that led to the uprising and produce viable economic reconstruction plans.
The Syrian government is using its many remaining allies of the emerging world to try to reduce the financial constraints weighing on it.
The editor-in-chief of The Syria Report, Jihad Yazigi, recently spoke at a conference organised in London by the London School of Economics, "Inside Syria: 18 Months On," of the economic background and implications of the Syrian uprising.
Price levels in Syria vary enormously depending on where one lives, on the intensity of the violence in that area, on the ease of distributing and transporting goods there or on its political or strategic importance for the central government. Thus while inflation officially stood at around 36 percent in June, this should be read only as a broad indicator rather than a reflection of the actual levels of inflation across the country.
It took almost a full year before Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city by population, became an active part of the popular uprising that began engulfing the country in March 2011; but when it did, events very quickly took a violent turn. This summer has seen thousands killed in armed clashes and bombings, more than 200,000 inhabitants are estimated to have fled the city and several districts are being levelled under daily bombardment. ‘Normal life’ is at an almost total standstill throughout the metropolis.