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Syrian Civil Servants Get Raise

Syrian Civil Servants Get Raise

Thursday, 21 November, 2019 - 11:00
FILE PHOTO: An employee stamps stacks of Syrian pound notes at the Syrian central bank in Damascus April 23, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

The head of the Syrian regime, Bashar Assad, has issued a decree raising the salaries of the public sector.

The decree gives 20,000 pounds, which is about $27, more a month to state employees. This comes at a time when the local currency has been losing some of its value in recent months.

The decree, issued on Thursday, also gives a raise of 16,000 pounds, or $23, to retired state employees.

The US dollar is currently worth over 700 pounds.

The collapse of the Syrian pound is blamed on tough Western sanctions against Assad’s regime, as well as on decline in remittances from Syrians living abroad.

Local investors say the currency was also hurt by dashed hopes that Assad’s battleground gains would encourage wealthy Syrians abroad to seek opportunities in the war-ravaged economy, many of whom were also scared by tougher sanctions.

Also putting pressure on the currency, the Syrian central bank has largely abandoned efforts in recent months to support the value of the currency in order to protect its remaining foreign exchange reserves, local businessmen say.

Many Syrians are buying dollars to preserve their savings.

When Syria’s crisis began in March 2011, a dollar was valued at 47 pounds.

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