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After returning to Iraq from his UN speech in New York, Prime Minister Haidar al-‘Abadi on 3 October gave one of the strongest press conferences of his 13-month premiership. He energetically attacked the record of his predecessor, Nuri al-Maliki, without mentioning him by name, saying while in years past Iraq had huge revenues from oil exports, they were wasted, leaving the government without any money.
Mr ‘Abadi expressed public dismay at the fact that he had taken office with the government’s cash reserves drawn down, and “$15bn in payments owed to oil companies” due to “waste of the country’s wealth as a result of flawed policies of the former government through gifts from the necessary leader, especially during campaign seasons.” For context, Iraq had about $3bn in hand when Mr ‘Abadi took office in September 2014, almost none now, and about $4bn in monthly oil revenues compared to roughly double that figure price highs of Mr Maliki’s second term.
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