PA to EU: Give us 1 billion euros'Palestinian Authority Finance Minister' Salam Fayad told the EU today that the PA will need 1 billion euros - about $1.3 billion - in assistance to make it through this year (and we are already in April!), as the PA sought to extend its status as the world's number one basket case. So far, at least, the EU has not further opened its pocketbook, saying that Hamas must first recognize Israel and commit to 'respecting' past agreements.
But apparently the EU did NOT say that Hamas must stop terror.
Fayad won an offer of technical assistance for his ministry from the EU. But the bloc's External Relations Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, restated the EU position - Hamas which forms part of the government, must recognize Israel and commit to respecting past agreements before direct payments to the government can resume.Fayad, who is one of 'our kind' of 'Palestinians' - you know, 'the kind we can talk to' - repeated the same old 'Palestinian' line:
"I made it clear that possible reengagement does not mean resuming payments overnight," Ferrero-Waldner said.
Fayad said the Palestinian Authority was operating on only a quarter of the funds it needed to provide basic services to the population.'Self-sustaining' with what products? These guys can't even grow tomatoes!
"We are facing an acute financial crisis," he told reporters after meeting with Ferrero-Waldner.
"We are looking for donor support to bridge the gap of 1 billion euros for 2007," Fayyad said. "This is assistance we need to get back on our feet."
"We hope to get support to enable us to function," the minister said, adding that the international boycott had "devastated" the Palestinian economy.
But Fayad also said he expected the economy to become "self-sustaining as soon as Israel abolishes restrictions on access" to Palestinian territories, and that international assistance would then become unnecessary.
I wonder what would happen to the economy if they cut the terror, weapons, and payment to terrorists' families line items in the budget. Nah. It'll never happen.