Notas ao café…

Good Morning Baghdad

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Outubro 24, 2009

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Chan Lowe, «Sun-Sentinel»

Bernhard Zand, na Der Spiegel, escreve sobre a actual Bagdade. Uma cidade destruída mas onde a vida começa a voltar a uma certa normalidade com o aumento da segurança; mercados abastecidos, teatros abertos, restaurantes sempre cheios, clubes nocturnos e uma classe média que começa novamente a surgir, são hoje uma das imagens da capital do Iraque. Mas, como escreve Zand, é uma cidade onde a violência ainda faz parte do dia-a-dia (assim como no resto do país em que centenas de pessoas morrem todos os meses devido a ataques) e em que a corrupção alastra, chegando ao próprio governo, tornando-se uma ameaça ao quotidiano de Bagdade e do Iraque:

[…] A great deal of money is in circulation, but where does it come from? “Corruption was always bad,” says former Minister of Telecommunications Juwan Fouad Masum. She says that the upcoming elections in January are spurring politicians and high-ranking officials to ever greater degrees of vice. “No minister or general director knows if he will retain his post after the elections. So they’re filling their pockets now.”

[…] Over the past few years, Iraq has risen to become the second-most corrupt country in the world, surpassed only by Somalia on the index of the international non-governmental corruption watchdog Transparency International. Former Minister of Trade Abd al-Falah Sudani, along with his brothers, embezzled so much money from the food rationing program — known as the Public Distribution System — that he decided it would be best to flee to Dubai. His plane was already in the air when it was ordered to return to Baghdad, where he was arrested at the airport.

“We have 10 hours of electricity a day, 15 hours of freedom of speech and 24 hours of corruption,” as the Kurds say in northern Iraq, where two clans have been pulling the strings for decades. One of these groups is led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

[G]enuine bodyguards are required to protect the members of the parliamentary anti-corruption and the budget committee, which include men like Sheikh Sabah al-Saadi and women like Shada al-Moussawi. “You don’t make any friends when you demonstrate to the national security adviser that he is legally entitled to a staff of 60, but in reality has 273 people on his payroll,” says Moussawi. When her committee decided to summon a minister, she received threatening phone calls: “It was an interesting time for me in parliament. I certainly won’t run for another term.”

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Michael Kountouris

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