» 07/10/2013, 00.00
Iranian currency collapse mainly affects health care
The rial drops following the latest round of economic sanctions. The public health sector is the most affected, with drug prices rising 76 per cent. For many Iranians, medicine is no longer affordable.
Rial loses almost 17 per cent in a single day
The government tries to counter the problem by setting up a foreign exchange centre funded with oil revenues where dollars will be sold at a rate 2 per cent cheaper than the street rate. In a year, official foreign reserves dropped from US$ 106 billion to 50-70 billion, whilst inflation is running at 25 per cent a year.
The population of Tehran protests against Ahmadinejad and the collapse of the rial
Clashes with the police have taken place in the city's commercial districts and in front of the headquarters of the central bank. The population accuses the president of having no idea how to deal with the monetary crisis. In less than a week, the rial has lost almost 40% of its value. For Iranians meat has become a luxury.
Government and people struggling with the rial's crisis
Tehran has imposed a fixed dollar rate, but transactions are on hold. Prices are rising on a daily basis, sometimes even 100 per cent. Iran's parliament has criticised Ahmadinejad's populist policies. Businessmen and middle class families are eager to buy foreign exchange.
Tokyo aims to curb health care costs: "Keep the elderly at home, stop long term hospitalizations"
The country is aging at a seemingly unstoppable pace, the birth rate continues to decline and the cost of the hospital sector soars to 350 billion Euros per year. The government is trying to lower the numbers and announces a reduction in reimbursements for surgically inserted feeding tubes, which currently include 260 thousand elderly.
If Beijing does not stop inflation, serious social unrest might follow
Major economists note that rising food prices are causing major dissatisfaction, which could lead to street protests. The authorities are trying to limit the problem. For some observers, China should let the value of the yuan rise to reduce the effects of US-induced inflation.
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