“THE persistent and provocative statements issued by the Chamber of Commerce about the seriousness of the economic situation in the country aimed at pressuring the government to support merchants, by imposing a tax on the citizen, and we know as everyone that the merchants up to this moment continue to attack the country’s capabilities and control the political decision-making and Parliament over the position of Speaker of the National Assembly,” columnist Abdul- Redha Qambar wrote for Al-Shahed daily.
“The government obedience and the desperate fear of merchants is surprising to the general public, but merchants through the newspapers and other channels undoubtedly rule the roost of the political, economic and media game, in addition to them controlling the banking industry. “The government role in this country does not exceed more than appointments and the formation of governments. The merchants also have a word in the appointment of ministers, specifically the Minister of Commerce and the Minister of Finance.
“The country undoubtedly is at the mercy and authority of the Chamber of Commerce, which will soon be headed by Khaled Al-Ghanim, the spoiled brother of the Speaker of Parliament and the son of the former President of the Chamber of Commerce, Ali Al- Ghanim.
“What happens behind the closed doors of this building determines the economic fate of the country, appointments in senior positions, and at times, grouping some to direct parliamentary elections to so-andso at the expense of so-and-so. “We will not forget the phrase ‘the knife is placed at the neck of everybody’ that was repeated by the Minister of Finance and echoed by the Prime Minister upon instructions from those closed rooms to devote an idea to the citizens that we are suffering from an economic crisis and the government’s inability to pay salaries to impose control on this honorable people and to take tax from their salaries to cover this deficit.
“We trusted a government that protects our money, protects us from the greed of merchants, increases our welfare, and makes us among the generous countries, but it seems that we erred in our assessment of the situation, and we forgot the history of merchants during the past crises who controlled the governments for their personal interest. These governments have made the Chamber of Commerce a ‘state within a state’ and forced us to bow to their whims and desires.”