Friday, 2 November 2007

Why sell the golden goose?

The upcoming privatisation of the mobile phone network proves everything that is wrong with the Lebanese government. The network has been one of the state's main sources of revenue, generating between $750 to $900 million a year.

Why sell it off at a time when there is a crippling national debt?

The answer is of course that the business of profit will remain "private" while debt will remain "public".

The government argues that they can make a quick $7 billion. But since there is a deadline to reduce the "national debt" by 2012, surely hanging on to this key sector is a good bit of forward planning?

Not if it gets in the way of neo-liberal dogma, apparently.

So in come mega wealthy cell phone companies—like ZAIN, Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co. (with current revenues of $1,470.54 million)—and out goes whatever is left of health provisions and pensions.

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