Turkey's opposition leader slams Albayrak’s new economic measures

The opposition Good Party leader on Tuesday slammed new economic measures announced by the Minister of Finance and Treasury last week, opposition news site Diken reported.

Minister Berat Albayrak unveiled a new economic package he named “Velocity - Advanced Productive Narional Industry”, the second such package offered in less than two months. The latest package provides financing to help importers such as manufacturers, who have seen costs surge during a lira sell-off.

Speaking to her parliamentary group, the centre-right Good Party leader Meral Akşener said the economic situation in Turkey contradicted with the name of the package.

“He named it ‘national industry’ as if they had opened a single factory until today. He is not aware that we do not have an advanced or a productive industry left,” she said.

Turkey’s economy slumped into a recession in the second half of last year after a currency crisis peaked in August. Economic confidence in Turkey dropped in May to its lowest level since the currency crisis. The lira fell 28 percent against the dollar last year and has lost about 13 percent of its value since January.

“Our citizens have lost their confidence in their own currency, foreign exchange deposits increased to 54 percent from 44 percent,” Akşener said referring to foreign exchange deposits and funds, including precious metals, held by Turkish individuals and institutions hitting a high of $182 billion on May 17.

Akşener said Turkey’s credit risk premium had risen by 68 percent, while the budget deficit had increased to 103 billion lira ($17 billion) from 30.3 billion lira ($5 billion).