Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has outlined a new austerity plan for his country's ailing economy.
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has outlined a new austerity plan for his country's ailing economy. He has rebuffed international pressure to devalue the Turkish lira. His government will rely on domestic initiatives to try and restore economic stability.
SYNOPSIS: In Ankara, the effects of the government's new policies are starting to hurt. Motorists are paying twice as much for petrol as they were two weeks ago. Consumers and manufacturers are paying at least 20 percent more this week for state produced goods such as tobacco, sugar, cement, coal, iron and steel.
The price increases are designed to reduce domestic consumption, boost savings and thus reduce the inflation rate. Inflation is currently running at about sixty percent making life difficult for the large numbers of unemployed.
The Turkish government aims to find its own solutions to its own problems.
But there the country will ask for help will be in continuing financial aid from the west.
Turkey's new policy cuts across the International Monetary Fund's plan to assist the economy. The I.M.F. had been demanding devaluation of the lira.
Addressing parliamentary members of the Republican People's Party, Premier Ecevit rejected the devaluation proposal. The Turkish people are highly sensitive to changes in parity of the lira. They would consider it as much a devaluation of national pride as of currency. Mr. Ecevit told parliamentarians that recovery along the I.M.F.'s guidelines would halt economic growth just when new investment was badly needed. However, American officials are adamant that Turkey should accept the I.M.F.'s conditions before getting further financial aid. Mr. Ecevit may also strike trouble with the plan at home. With prices spiralling, people have begun hoarding goods including food and petrol.