Inflation has become a dirty word in almost every language in the world. Princes around?
Inflation has become a dirty word in almost every language in the world. Princes around the globe have rocketed in the last decade and nowhere, it seems, have wages kept pace with them. Each country has its own story to tell and each story seems worse than the last.
SYNOPSIS: Istanbul: and the Turkish government is wrestling with a worse inflation problem than any other member of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development. Prices have soared by sixty percent in the last twelve months and the OECD says the tough times will continue.
Three million Turks are unemployed and even those with jobs are hard pressed to keep up with the rises in the price of essentials. Petrol prices increased by eighty-four percent in 1978. The cause starts here, at the docks. Turkey has piled up a massive 15 billion dollar (7,500 million pound) foreign debt by importing far more than has been exported. Drastic action was needed. Imports were cut and the trade deficit reduced to almost half. But a shortage of spare parts and raw materials has hit the home industries.
People even have to queue for cigarettes at the nationalised Tekel stores.
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has already asked the European Economic Community for eight billion dollars (GBP 4,000,000,000) appealed to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) for assistance and turned to the International Monetary Fund for help. Before he left on this trip to Scandanavia (13 December 1978) in yet another bid to secure an international loan, he spoke of Turkey's plight.
The shoppers in the market place know that the government's efforts have had little benefit for them. And observers say the uncertain political situation has weakened the government's hand.