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January 25, 2013
In this study, we analyse some of the political and economic consequences of the Arab Spring and assess opportunities and challenges for the affected countries. Political instability has taken a toll on the region’s economies. There has been a sharp slowdown in economic activity, deteriorating external and fiscal accounts and decreasing FX reserves. The long-term challenges for the region remain as pressing as ever: high unemployment (especially among the youth), inefficient subsidy regimes and low trade diversification, among others. Expectations for rapid improvement after the Arab Spring will be disappointed, but there is a chance that less oppressive governments will be more responsive to their peoples’ demands and thus at least attempt to tackle those problems. [more]