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Abbas: PA struggling to pay salaries

Oct. 12, 2013 11:40 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 29, 2013 11:32 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas expressed concern Friday that the Palestinian Authority would not be able to pay salaries for its employees in November due to the difficult economic situation.

In an interview with official PA television, he said that his minister of finance, Shukri Bishara, had informed him that the government would not be able to pay salaries unless international aid arrives.

"The economic situation is really difficult, and the main reason is the Israeli occupation," Abbas said. "Israel exploits our resources and lands which increased our economic deficit.

"We must take responsibility according to the law," Abbas said. "We are working on improving our abilities and lowering the unemployment rate by supporting small enterprises."

He added: "I call on all wealthy Palestinians everywhere to support small projects. If every wealthy Palestinian took care of a family or opened up a small project for them, this would help to mitigate the crisis."

The PA's budget deficit is nearly $500 million for 2013.
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