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Saudi Arabia desperately seeking to avoid revolt: Analyst

revoltSaudi Arabia has embarked on a violent crackdown on foreign workers in the kingdom in a desperate attempt to avert social revolt due to its ailing economy, an analyst writes in a column for Press TV.

“Their motivation is best understood as trying to defuse a social time bomb of a young population that is increasingly unemployed and restive,” Finian Cunningham wrote in a column for Press TV.

He said unemployment is seen by Saudi regime as a “detonator” of revolt against the “autocratic mis-rule” of the Saudi monarchy.
“The problem for the Saudi authorities is this: the Saudi economy has for decades relied on cheap foreign labor. That social structure is, in turn, a direct result of the intrinsically undemocratic nature of Saudi Arabia as a state,” wrote Cunningham.

He said nearly one million migrant workers have been deported from Saudi Arabia over recent months and more than 20,000 are awaiting repatriation.

“The House of Saud is desperately trying to get its house in order – by lethally cracking down on droves of illegal foreign workers,” Cunningham noted.

Between nine and 11 million of Saudi Arabia’s 27-million-strong population are foreign workers, whom Cunningham said are treated like slaves.

“What is happening now in Saudi Arabia is merely symptomatic of the looming social problems that are stemming from this general model of slave labor across the region,” he wrote.

On November 10, at least two people were killed and dozens more wounded in a fresh round of regime crackdown on foreign workers protesting against a new labor law in Saudi Arabia.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have already left the kingdom amid tougher conditions for migrants.

Foreign workers cannot change jobs or leave Saudi Arabia without the permission of their sponsors, who are often Saudi companies or individuals providing workers to businesses for profit.

“The heavy-handed expulsion of foreign workers from Saudi Arabia is a typical House of Saud measure to offset the looming social crisis. It is a desperate, but futile, attempt to solve the fundamental anomaly of a deeply regressive state,” wrote Cunningham.


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