Before the elections workers had started a campaign against inflation and for a fourfold increase of the minimum wage. In the end the minimum wage was hiked by mere 20 per cent, which is below the rate of inflation. On 1st of May 150 workers’ activists and unionists were arrested while demonstrating for an increase of the minimum wage. They were only released on bail. In general the elections in 2009 were very much dominated by the economic crisis. The question of how to distribute the oil rent was the crucial matter of all debate: how much will be invested, how much will be distributed and in which form? In recent years a government crisis resulting in continual dismissals of ministers and recomposition of the Cabinet has developed at the this front-line. The finance minister, the head of the central bank and the minister for employment argue about the question whether inflation or unemployment poses the bigger danger, and whether the main harm is caused by the ever-growing volume of money or the increase of interest rates.
After the coming into power of Khomeini in 1979, poverty actually declined due to the revolutionary struggles and movements. Higher wages, the reinstating of the unemployed through workers’ councils, the occupation of derelict houses, the appropriation of land for house construction and for cultivation by peasants led to a significant improvement in living standards. After the islamist state power gained strength,… >>>