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Reconciling good theory with harsh reality

Jan 10,2018 - Last updated at Jan 10,2018

His Majesty King Abdullah's heart to heart talks with Speaker of the Lower House Atef Tarawneh and presidents of House committees on Monday on the new year's agenda could not have been at a more opportune time.

It is the start of the new year and that is when all  three branches must roll up their sleeves and work in earnest to implement a more aggressive and progressive agenda aiming to address the main challenges facing the country. 

It is all good and nice to talk about economic reforms and balancing the budget, both of which are legitimate concerns, but as important as these goals are, the King warned, policymakers must not lose sight of the legitimate concerns of the low-income Jordanians and the equally pressing issue of protecting and empowering the middle class people as well. 

"We should not deceive ourselves and work hard with a different approach in 2018," the King said.  The King was obviously concerned about the non-application of the goals of the discussion papers that he had periodically raised through the past year covering many complementary dimensions of the national agenda. 

The King was frank and straight forward when he told his audience that he did not see a full implementation on the ground of the issues raised by these discussion papers. 

We need actions, not words, the King told his audience. While the King's words were addressed to the Lower House of Parliament, they need to be viewed as words to the entire government in all its three branches. 

The main thrust of the new policy guidance for the new year is the need to address the economy of the country while combating poverty and unemployment. Reforms are not abstract ideas or goals but rather targets of practical value to the people of the country. 

Clearly, the low-income Jordanians are hit the hardest by the recurring economic and fiscal policies and their applications. Reconciling good theory with harsh reality remains the most vexing policy issue facing the country and that is what the government must comprehend and appreciate during the new year.  


This is not the first time the King had addressed the government on what needs to be done in a balanced and equitable way and hopefully as we begin a new year the government will embark on new approaches to the hardcore issues facing the country.

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