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Nov 30, 2021

A Sense of Numbers in the Syrian Context

For most non-economists, it's quite difficult to appreciate the relativity of very large numbers. Billions and trillions, whether in tens or hundreds, get blurred together.

Syrian officials often throw wrong numbers and journalists repeat them without investigation.

For example, the Syrian Deputy Minister of Electricity claimed a few days ago that the annual cost of subsidizing electricity is a whopping 5 trillion SP.

The number is inflated.

This year's overall budget for fuel subsidies was set at 2.7 trillion SP, and for electricity at 1.8 trillion.

Assuming all subsidized fuels are used for electricity, even both figures combined wouldn't add up to five trillion.

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