And doubtless the suckers will go for it. “Abbas to Seek Almost Twice as Much Aid From Abroad,” by Amr Nabil for Associated Press (thanks to Sr. Soph):
RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec. 5 (AP) “” Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, will ask foreign donors to provide $5.8 billion in aid, through 2010, nearly double the current level.
Mr. Abbas says he needs help with a huge deficit run up in years of strife, but he is also promising to curb spending and stimulate economic growth.
The Abbas government will give its development plan for 2008 through 2010 to officials from donor countries in Paris on Friday, before a high-level donor meeting there on Dec. 17.
Seventy percent of the aid is to be used for continuing operating expenses, including $120 million a month for wages for public employees. Thirty percent is to be spent on development projects.
The government hopes to decrease its deficit gradually, stimulate the economy, including private investment, and to become less and less dependent on aid, said Samir Abdullah, the Palestinian planning minister.
“Our ultimate goal is to end economic stagnation,” he said, holding out hope for a balanced budget in six years, perhaps sooner if Israel moves fast to lift restrictions on trade and travel.