Erdogan to Tighten Grip on Turkish Economy after Elections

Erdogan to Tighten Grip on Turkish Economy after Elections

Wednesday, 16 May, 2018 - 09:45
The President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, speaks at Chatham House in central London, Britain May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls -/File Photo
London, Ankara - Asharq Al-Awsat, Saeed Abdul Razak
Turkey's central government budget balance saw a deficit of TL 23.2 billion ($5.3 billion) in the January-April period. According to an official statement, Turkey's budget revenues stood at TL232 billion from January to April, up 17.3 percent on a yearly basis. In the same period, the budget expenses amounted to TL255.2 billion, marking an 18.3 percent annual rise in the first four months of the year.

This coincided with statements of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he declared that he is planning to tighten the grip on the economy after the presidential elections, scheduled next month.

The lira has weakened 13% against the dollar this year -- it fell to an all time low of 4.3990 per dollar, following Erdogan’s statements.

According to Reuters, Erdogan said that “when the people fall into difficulties because of monetary policies, who are they going to hold accountable? They’ll hold the president accountable. Since they’ll ask the president about it, we have to give off the image of a president who’s influential on monetary policies.”

That “may make some uncomfortable,” he added. “But we have to do it. Because it’s those who rule the state who are accountable to the citizens.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal said works continue to realize the budget realizations in line with the targets by the year end. According to official data on Monday, the deficit in current transactions represents a worrisome to investors, but the market didn’t show any reaction on its increase to USD4.812 billion in March from USD4.5 billion in February.

Since the beginning of 2018, the Turkish Lira has lost more than 13 percent of its value, under pressures of investors’ hesitation of whether the Central Bank will fulfill the market’s expectations of more strict monetary policy in addition to the political uncertainty before the parliamentary and presidential elections, on June 24.

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