Interview: government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh

Iraq Oil Report talks to Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh about the massive deficit spending, the budget implications on the KRG-Baghdad dispute – and how it may end.
Oil Minister Shahristani (left) and government spokesperson Dabbagh announce progress on the Zubair and W. Qurna oil field projects in October 2009 press conference. (Ben Lando/IOR)

LONDON - As it awaits the formation of the government, Iraq's new Parliament has work to do: passing an already bloated $78.8 billion budget.

To get the blessing of international financiers, Iraq's proposed deficit of more than $20 billion needed to be slashed by almost half. This has required difficult choices, including backing down on some promises to raise pay for key public sector employees.

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