KRG Prioritizes Investor Confidence Over Stability: Will It Lose Both?

The KRG this week made bumper payments to IOCs despite violent protests as the cash-strapped region axed public sector pay. Is this a sustainable strategy?

Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) this week shelled out $100.5mn to the international oil companies (IOCs) active in the region, the highest ever figure for a calendar month.

This came despite mounting violent protests against the embattled government’s swingeing cuts to public sector salaries. At least two people were killed.

Having lost 280,000 b/d in crude output when federal Iraqi forces retook Kirkuk and its environs, the KRG’s already shaky finances are now precarious than ever ( MEES, 15 December ).

The severity of the situation is highlighted by the latest massive protests throughout the region. Citing electricity shortages, delayed salary payments and generally poor governance, protestors set fire to offices of the region’s various political parties. KRG security forces are cracking down on protests and several towns are now under curfew.


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