Jordan: hiding the new economic crisis

Nahid Hatr, a Jordanian columnist for Lebanon's Al Akhbar daily, wrote: "Jordan has reached the edge: the rash wagers on the policies of the neoconservatives during the reign of the George Bush administration have all collapsed."

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Nahid Hatr, a Jordanian columnist for Lebanon's Al Akhbar daily, wrote: "Jordan has reached the edge: the rash wagers on the policies of the neoconservatives during the reign of the George Bush administration have all collapsed. While the regional initiatives of the Barack Obama administration continue to coalesce in a dynamic fashion and point to radical changes in the map of the regional factions and struggles, the Jordanian elite is still paralysed and unable to produce a new plan or vision of how to act in the coming period.

"There is a series of political, national and strategic crises that coincide with a tumultuous socioeconomic crisis that is wracking the country. All these crises expose the deeper crisis at their root: the crisis of the elite, which is worn out and incapable of producing alternative programmes. Neo-liberal policies have collapsed the world over, yet they are still the preferred tactics in Jordan."

The bust in the bubble of the real estate sector was compounded by losses in the Amman financial market, and the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dinars by small investors who believed in the lies of investment companies.

The Palestinian-owned, London-based Al Quds al Arabi daily carried the following opinion piece by the chief editor Abdel Beri Atwan: "We are disappointed by the low level of the reports and comments seen in some Egyptian official media outlets, addressing Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hizbollah, and the recent crisis related to the arrest of a cell that was said to be planning to carry out assassinations and attacks against vital facilities in Egypt. "For some to consider that Sayyed Nasrallah's dispatch of some of his partisans to Egypt to smuggle arms into the Gaza Strip to be a violation of Egyptian sovereignty is completely legitimate and understandable. However, for them to attack the man by using vile language is not. When responding to the Egyptian accusations saying that he and his party were trying to destabilise Egypt's domestic situation, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was extremely calm and polite and did not say one word that was out of place.

"He was honest and transparent when he recognised that Sami Chehab was a member of Hizbollah and that he went to Egypt to smuggle arms to a blockaded Gaza Strip, stating that this was an honourable mission."

The independent Algerian daily Echourouq al Yawm carried the following opinion piece by Abed al Nasser: "There are no actors and no directors better than the American ones, for they know how to weave scenarios and turn certain events into movies in which they always hold the leading roles. The new movie will be shot this time on the Somali coasts where a new country that was not of interest to the Americans has emerged: the state of the pirates. "For its part, the international media is promoting the American scenarios by covering the piracy operations and turning them into major headlines. Action in American movies always resides in 'open endings' in which excitement is guaranteed and in which sides are implicated without their knowledge by partaking for example in a new war against the 'terrorism of the pirates' that might affect neighbouring countries that are usually Arab or Islamic, thus making us forget about the previous 'movies' in Afghanistan and Iraq and the endless Lebanon and Palestininian 'series'. In the end, the movie unanimously wins an Oscar and the prize is usually settled from the funds of the watching nations."

Zein al Shami, a regular columnist for Kuwait's Al Rai al Aam, wrote: "The indirect Israeli-Syrian negotiations under Turkish endorsement, which stopped in the context of the Israeli war on Gaza, were not the first of their kind between the two sides. The negotiations were preceded by many attempts. "The Syrian enthusiasm for 'peace' was always noteworthy but this was not met by an appropriate Israeli response, as the Israelis knew how to read the reasons and background for the Syrian eagerness for peace. Israel knew that the latest Syrian peaceful attack came in the context of the Syrian effort to lighten the pressure on Syria and break the wall of isolation imposed on it and improve its regional and international situation.

"In this context, and despite the fact that there are Israeli voices that call for peace with Syria because of its benefits compared to the complicated Palestinian track, the reservations and objections to holding peace talks with Syria have always been there and they have always gained the upper hand." * Digest compiled by