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SYRIA - Profile - Dr. Mohammed Al Hussain.

With Gen. Tlas as 1st deputy premier leading the old guard (see the political leadership profiles in Gas Market Trends), Dr. Al Hussain is a hardline economist who on Dec. 13, 2001, took over from the liberal figure Dr. Khalid Raa'd. With a PhD in economics from a Romanian university, Al Hussain is also head of Economics Affairs at the ruling Baath Party The Arab Socialist Ba'th Party (also spelled Baath or Ba'ath; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي) was founded in 1945 as a left-wing, secular .

Dr. Al Hussain is a conservative figure opposed to any radical change to the current system of centralised Adj. 1. centralised - drawn toward a center or brought under the control of a central authority; "centralized control of emergency relief efforts"; "centralized government"
 command economy. He is the direct boss of both Ghassan Rifai, a liberal economist brought in from the World Bank to replace long-serving economy minister Dr. Mohammed Imady, and of the new liberal Finance Minister Mohammed Al Atrash. Although Rifai and Atrash were brought in at President Bashar Al Assad's instructions to work out radical reforms in line with requirements aired by the IMF IMF

See: International Monetary Fund


See International Monetary Fund (IMF).
 and the World Bank, the invisible layer of authority forced Al Hussain on Dr. Miro to make sure no such changes will occur.

Al Hussain is a close ally of the old guard in the Baath Party leadership. He has long been opposed to repeated proposals for the Syrian economy to be liberalised, having climbed the party ladder on his image as a socialist hardliner Noun 1. hardliner - a conservative who is uncompromising
conservative, conservativist - a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas

hardliner npartidario/a de la línea dura 

With Al Hussain replacing Dr. Khalid Raa'd, the most prominent among the liberal technocrats and prot?g?s of Bashar Al Assad, the message in December 2001 was clear that Damascus was not likely to meet the economy entry requirements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO See World Trade Organization. ). To the invisible layer of authority and to Al Hussain, central control over the Syrian economy is a must for the security of the Baathist regime.

(In the previous cabinet, Dr. Raa'd represented the younger generation of technocrats brought in to improve Syria's economy and introduce basic socio-economic reforms. Although Raa'd now still acts as an economic adviser to young President Assad, he has no power in Syria. Before he was appointed as deputy premier for economic affairs on March 13, 2000, Dr. Raa'd was the head of the Free Zones Authority. A bright economist with liberal tendencies, he also lectured at the University of Damascus The University of Damascus consists of several faculties and the Higher Institute of Administrative Development. Also affiliated with the university are seven intermediate institutes and a School of Nursing.  and Bashar was impressed by his calls for reforms. But, like the other technocrats nominated nom·i·nate  
tr.v. nom·i·nat·ed, nom·i·nat·ing, nom·i·nates
1. To propose by name as a candidate, especially for election.

2. To designate or appoint to an office, responsibility, or honor.
 by Bashar, Dr. Raa'd had no political base and was little known to the public.

(Dr. Raa'd had succeeded Dr. Salim Said Yasin, who had been deputy premier for economic affairs since 1985. Dr. Yasin was both a politician and an economist. But he belonged to the old school and was implicated im·pli·cate  
tr.v. im·pli·cat·ed, im·pli·cat·ing, im·pli·cates
1. To involve or connect intimately or incriminatingly: evidence that implicates others in the plot.

 in a corruption scandal, although his close connections to Hafez Al Assad's invisible layer of authority saved him at the time - see background in Vol. 54).
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Apr 15, 2002
Previous Article:SYRIA - The Government.
Next Article:SYRIA - Profile - Ghassan Al Rifai & Mohammed Al Atrash.

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