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Iraq sinks further into debt

Despite nominal moves to diversify its sources of revenue, the Iraqi government's dependence on falling oil prices and the cost of its war against the Islamic State mean the Iraqi economy is drowning in debt.
Iraqi workers stand near a pipeline as it ejects oil at Al Tuba oil field in Basra, southeast of Baghdad February 19, 2015. Iraq plans to increase its southern oil storage capacity to 15 million barrels by the end of 2015, to help cope with export bottlenecks caused by bad weather and to absorb rising production, a senior official said on Thursday. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani (IRAQ - Tag - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY) - RTR4QAYT
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BAGHDAD — Noura al-Bajari, a member of the Iraqi parliament's Economy and Investment Committee, expressed fear in a press statement Aug. 8 that Iraq will be unable to pay off its debts. She cited dropping prices for the oil upon which the country relies and the costs of the war against the Islamic State, with which the government has fought for control of Iraqi cities since June 2014.

In an interview with the local Iraqi Al-Mada Press, Bajari predicted a very bad scenario for the Iraqi economy should debts remain outstanding. “Iraq would have to face dire economic conditions akin to the prior-2003 period, when the accumulated debt had reached $125 billion,” she said.

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