Turkish opposition parties criticize government over economic program

Turkish opposition parties criticize government over economic program

ANKARA
Turkish opposition parties criticize government over economic program

Both main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the İYİ (Good) Party have slammed the Turkish government over a recently rolled out new economic program, while also lashing out at a deal with the global consulting firm McKinsey and Company.

“Now the government says that a company should provide consultancy to Turkey every three months, because it does not have confidence in the Turkish state. They made an agreement with McKinsey,” CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaorğlu said in his first weekly address to party lawmakers on Oct. 2 after the judicial year resumed on Oct. 1.

He also asked whether the government would reveal periodic reports prepared by the audit company.

Touching on the new economic program revealed by Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Sept. 27, Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey has $26 billion in debts with due dates until the end of the year, which adds to some $12 billion of the current account deficit.

“We are in an economic crisis now,” he said. “If Turkey was run logically, we would not face such a crisis.”

İYİ leader Meral Akşener echoed a similar criticism during her weekly address, saying that the program revealed by Albayrak is “the program of the IMF.”

They are not saying it but doing so by giving the job to an American company,” she said.

“We will not forgive those who signed that deal and who implement it,” she added.

The Treasury and Finance Ministry refutes criticisms that the economy was “left to a consulting firm” and that it would pave way for an IMF program.

The claims are “irrational and malicious,” it said in a statement on Sept. 30.

Speaking at the Turkey Investment Conference on Sept. 27 in the U.S., Albayrak said the Office for Costs and Transformation has representatives from 16 ministries and will check all “targets and results in every quarter [of the financial year].”

The ministry’s statement said the Office for Costs and Transformation will receive consultancy when necessary to analyze the most successful examples in working methods in the world. The statement said several public and private organizations previously received service from the American firm as well.

He accused the opposition of “harming the process” at a time when the ministry took a “beneficial executive” step for Turkey and when it intended to bring a “powerful” institution to serve the public.

“This consultancy will have no executive function or authority. Its working area will be restricted to unilaterally bringing Turkey the best working models in the world,” said the statement.

“After realizing this office is the most accurate model for the first time in Turkey, it will start great change and a transformation process in the public sector with our strong and local human resources,” said the ministry, adding that they are determined to reach goals presented with the new economic program.

Turkey sharply cut its growth forecasts for this year and next year in its new economic program, naming “stabilization, discipline and transformation” as the main pillars of the economic outlook.

In a presentation in Istanbul on Sept. 20, Albayrak said economic growth would be 3.8 percent this year and 2.3 percent in 2019, both revised down from forecasts of 5.5 percent.

“Our second pillar is fiscal discipline, and our third pillar will be change in the economy to take it toward value added areas to increase production capacity and exports in the long term,” Albayrak noted.

CHP, iyi party, McKinsey, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, Meral Akşener, Berat Albayrak