28 Feb '11, 2am

Oil-rich Arab states open their coffers

Oil-rich Arab states open their coffers

DUBAI: Oil-rich monarchies in the Gulf may have chosen to pre-empt protests by opening their coffers to their citizens, but other Arab states in turmoil or in the wake of it lack the "cash for calm" option. The fact that Arab rulers in the Gulf have responded with money and benefits to the wave of popular unrest sweeping across the region betrays their deep concern, analysts said. While a swift injection of cash may take the edge off potential crises in the rich states, only huge amounts of international aid can ensure development of those poorer Arab nations where the current unrest began. "It is usual for the king to give people something, a token, but this time it's bigger - it shows a bit of a panic," said Dubai-based Platts analyst Kate Dorian, in reference to Saudi Arabia. Just hours before returning from medical treatment and lengthy convalescence abroad on Wednesda...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/111...

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