SAUDI ARABIA (OBSERVATORY) – According to the NSS Iranian agency, the research center on Israel’s security at the University of Tel Aviv issued a new report expressing doubts about the revolutionary reforms that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to set up.
Unlike the Arab revolutions that emanated from the aspirations of the people, the revolution in Saudi Arabia started in the top of the pyramid of the kingdom, ie Mohammed bin Salman.
Yuil Gochanski, the author of the report, believes that Mohammed bin Salman is pursuing two approaches. The first is to initiate social and economic reforms, and the second to grant aid in a way that ensures its accession to the throne.
The report of the Israeli center wishes the success of Mohammed bin Salman, especially in its economic reforms, and indicates that his ambitions go beyond the regional adventures of Arabia.
The West doubts that Arabia has sufficient funds and knowledge to carry out these economic plans and believes that sooner or later Riyadh will have to turn to the West to receive political and economic aid.
Mohammed bin Salman would also seek to assume the full sovereignty of the country and to centralize around him the Saudi system, which has until then been a game of balance between the different branches of the ruling family, the report adds.
The Saudi Crown Prince does not hesitate to challenge politicians, religious and “embarrassing” cultural elements and to imprison Saudi princes in the fight against corruption.
In his recent trip to Britain, the United States and France, Ben Salmane wanted to establish himself as the “Atatürk of Arabia”, says the author of the report. But some experts believe that his approach is that of China: he wants to tame the political power and be flexible in economic matters. He will face major challenges in accomplishing his plans.
The report says the Ben Salmane Vision 2030 program, unveiled in April 2016, has resulted in new taxes for citizens and reduced the volume of government subsidies, particularly in the energy sector. Saudi Arabia has managed to reduce its budget deficit to $ 52 billion. Of course, the money confiscated from the princes and former ministers arrested by decision of an anti-corruption commission was paid to the Treasury. But the sum in question is very small compared to the needs of Saudi Arabia.
The Israeli expert says that since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, the situation in Saudi Arabia has not improved: the country’s development is at zero point and the unemployment curve continues to rise.
Referring to the government’s plan to deal with rising prices, the report says the plan does not include foreign workers who are forced to leave the country.
The kingdom, whose revenues depend on 90% of hydrocarbons, therefore multiplies “austerity measures.” And this at the risk of exploding social peace so handsomely bought by the Saud family. No more aid granted on the price of water, electricity or fuels. Finished the bonuses for the officials. As for the members of the government, they are asked to tighten their belts.
Mohammed bin Salman’s concern about a social rebellion is serious.