Bahrain is the second country after Oman to publicly state that it won’t make it to the 2010 Gulf single currency target. The crown prince said in a comprehensive interview with McKenzie Quarterly (also reported in Arabic in Al-Waqt yesterday) that the main economic factors – inflation metrics, jobs, fiscal policies, transparency, etc – are still disparate between member states which will make it difficult to climb on-board.
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Fair enough. But one would have hoped that after 28 years of being in the Gulf Cooperation Council that these factors would have already been sorted a long time ago. Or at least put in the fast-track priority list. I guess they’re busy with other things more important.
The crown prince also amplified on various aspects of reforms he is spearheading: political, economic, labour, education reforms. All of which he should be definitely helped with without reservation, because in them is the paramount good for the country rather than the benefit of a small group of people.
When you read something by him or listen to him speak, it is hard not to get pulled in by his charismatic personality. One wants to believe the guy. Seriously. And hope that this feeling will continue. He’s viewed at the moment by the majority of the people that he is the only sincere person we have, and thus, a lot of people are pinning all their hopes on him. An onerous task, to be sure, but one that I know he will carry responsibly and with panache too!
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This is something very important too and it’s good to hear the leadership emphasize once again that they do regard all Bahrainis as equal regardless of the sect they follow and that he does not differentiate between Sunni and Shi’i.
The crown prince of course is one of the top leaders of the country, and it is in his power to change things for the better. Everyone loves him and now has gained an international reputation as a moderate and a statesman. So i hope I will not cross the line by advising him – as a friend – that he should immediately implement policies to those organisations he oversees which will translate all of his excellent positions as articulated in this and other interviews and open the gates of employment to the Shi’a into the armed forces.
This will immediately shut his critics up, but much more importantly provide needed employment and more importantly allow them the honour in serving their country, increase (not establish) their loyalty to this land and have that great feeling of being a productive and important member of the community.
This step will also solidify the crown prince’s position in the community and give him the fodder he needs to surmount the various challenges facing us going forth.
It is good, just like he mentioned in the interview, that we are carrying on with all determination to reform all aspects of the country even in the midst of high oil revenues. This is the visionary approach we need more of in this country, rather than the myopic “me” mentality we have suffered from in the past.
I think you will find that the majority of the country is with the crown prince and our reforms, what is needed now is probably a tangible thing for people to touch so they can continue to believe in his vision, and that tangible thing is not too difficult to effect.
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