Prime Minister Meles Zenawi addressed parliament on Tuesday, reporting to the house about his government’s activities over the past six months.
Escalation of commodity prices was the main issue in this mid-annual report. Meles said the economy is surging at a fast 10-percent growth rate. Dismissing concerns from the opposition that the nation’s rising cost of living is a sign of a malfunctioning economy. “The flu, on a strong and healthy human body, is a minor setback,” Meles said metaphorically about the economy. “Our progress is fast and our economy is healthy. So what we are saying is we can overcome this flu. It won’t kill us.”
The arguments in parliament were largely rhetorical and fell short of proposing meaningful action to alleviate a standard of living that is low and getting worse by the day.
Residents complain that the price of a kilo of salt has risen from 20 cents to a dollar in the last two years. Meles attributed this to anomalies in the global economy.
Opposition members in parliament said that the economy is not functioning in a health way. They argued that the problem needs to be acknowledged in order to seek a solution. “The economy is not healthy in all aspects,” said Lidetu Ayalew the leader of United Ethiopian Democratic Party-Medhin. “It is growth with hypertension, and that cant be healthy.”