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“Palestinian-style” drift: a risk for Middle East

Wars and inflation are destroying the economy of an entire region. A warning from the IMF. Migrants? “If well managed, positive for Europe”.

THE MIDDLE East is caught between two wars. The Syrian conflict rages in the north and the one in Yemen to the south.

For years the economies of those two countries have been on their knees, but the repercussions of those conflicts are now being felt by all the nations located between them, with “massive and persistent” economic damage.

A recent report by the International Monetary Fund confirms this state of affairs; titled “The Economic Impact of Conflicts and the Refugee Crisis in the Middle East and North Africa”, the IMF study attempts to quantify the economic damage caused by the fighting. The analysis by the organization, which is headed by Christine Lagarde, concludes that those countries that are being battered by armed conflicts have suffered a “deep recession” (with average losses of almost two percentage points in GDP per year) combined with high inflation, not to mention a deteriorating fiscal and financial situation, and a weakening of their institutions. As for those states bordering the conflict zone, a decrease in real and perceived safety has been observed, coupled by a deterioration in social cohesion, which undermines trust in the institutions and their ability to undertake much-needed economic reforms.
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