Pub­lic anger rises over em­ployee pay cut

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Pub­lic anger rises day by day as public­sec­tor em­ploy­ees in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion do not know when they are go­ing to be paid each month. The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion has faced money short­ages and an eco­nomic cri­sis since Iraq’s cen­tral govern­ment de­cided to stop send­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s share of the na­tional budget.

Bagh­dad and the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion are quar­relling over an oil dis­pute as Iraq’s Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki wants Kur­dis­tan Re­gion oil to be sold un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Iraq’s govern­ment, while Kur­dis­tan want to con­trol their own oil prod­uct rev­enues.

The big­gest vic­tims of the Bagh­dadKur­dis­tan Re­gion is­sues are pub­lic sec­tor em­ploy­ees, who face de­lays in re­ceiv­ing their monthly pay.

In a state­ment re­leased on the KRG`s of­fi­cial web­site, a KRG spokesman said: «We would not have ex­pected such a de­ci­sion from Nouri al-Ma­liki, the Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter, as he has lived in Kur­dis­tan and grad­u­ated from Er­bil. It is sur­pris­ing that he would let a po­lit­i­cal dis­putes af­fect people>s daily lives and cut the salaries of KRG em­ploy­ees.»

On­go­ing dis­putes be­tween Er­bil and Bagh­dad re­gard­ing the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion>s share of the Iraqi budget have wors­ened as the draft has still to be rat­i­fied in the Iraqi par­lia­ment. More­over, Ma­liki continues to threaten the KRG with salary cuts.

Er­bil of­fi­cials state that Bagh­dad>s de­ci­sion to with­hold the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion>s share of the Iraqi budget is nei­ther con­sti­tu­tional nor le­gal.

The is­sues of em­ployee pay cuts have stirred many people in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions to speak out and protest. At a press con­fer­ence held in Er­bil on March 4, Ad­nan An­war Bag, the head of Civil So­ci­ety Or­ga­ni­za­tions in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, con­demned Bagh­dad’s de­ci­sion.

“We never be­lieved the day would come when Bagh­dad with­holds our em­ploy­ees’ pay. It is un­be­liev­able,” said An­war Bag, who called on Iraq’s cen­tral govern­ment to re­sume the pay­ment of Kur­dis­tan Re­gion salaries.

An­war Bag also said if the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) pre­vents Dukan Lake wa­ter from flow­ing to other Iraq’s prov­inces, us­ing use wa­ter as a pres­sure card, the sit­u­a­tion can only de­te­ri­o­rate. More­over, oil pro­duc­tion in Kirkuk prov­ince would be neg­a­tively af­fected.

Many people think Iraq should not be ruled by a sin­gle per­son--the dic­ta­tor­ship of Sad­dam Hus­sein in the coun­try was proof that this is not the way to go.

An­war Bag noted that people in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion are an­gry with Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki: “If PM Ma­liki des not sus­pend his de­ci­sion, people’s re­ac­tions will be­come harsh and more se­ri­ous,” he warned.

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