Economic coordination board convenes to address global economic turmoil
The Economic Coordination Board chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened yesterday to address the impact of the global economic crisis and measures to counter it. Representing the Cabinet at the seven-hour-plus meeting were Deputy Prime Ministers Nazım Ekren and Hayati Yazıcı, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen, State Minister for the Economy Mehmet Simsek, and Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan. Representatives of many labor, business and non-governmental organizations also attended. Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Erdogan said that Turkey is better-prepared to weather such a crisis than in the past. Stating that the crisis may have a negative impact on Turkey's job environment, labor market, and social structure, as in other countries, Erdogan said the government had taken all necessary measures to blunt the crisis' impact and turn it into an opportunity for the country. Stressing that the government won't allow working people and low-income earners to be hurt by the crisis, Erdogan said, "During such a crisis, social solidarity takes on more importance." He said that the government would keep meeting with representatives of labor, business and non-governmental organizations to exchange views on recent developments. Saying the crisis could cause unemployment and a drop in income, the premier said Turkey's atmosphere of confidence and stability and reforms of the last six years were helping it weather the crisis with minimal impact. He also said that increased government spending to support the poor was also cushioning the crisis' impact, adding that the government would determinedly continue to carry out the responsibility of a social welfare state.