Saudi Arabia is teetering on the bring of bankruptcy. It had a surplus of $140 billion in 1982, but now even its own official figures show a deficit of $60 billion, and the national debt is expected to reach $100 million by 1995. Profligacy of this kind, allied to utter disregard for the well-being of the people, is nothing new in Saudi Arabia. What is new is the scale of the debt, now so great that the House of Saud can no longer bribe its people and Arab neighbours into silence. Already the IMF has served notice that fundamental changes are required in the way the country is governed. Between 1982 and 1992 the average income in Saudi Arabia more than halved; increasingly politicised, the people are now demanding a greater say in the running of their country, They blame the House of Saud for the current problems, and its politics and personal behaviour are unacceptable not just to them but to Arabs and Muslims everywhere. While the developed countries of the West, especially the USA, need oil, they are committed to seeing on the Saudi Arabian throne a king who will keep it flowing at the right price without endangering the future of the country.
But the odds are against such a change being brought about peacefully. More likely is the birth of a militant, vengeful Islamic regime and a huge increase in the price of oil, leading to a world depression, a West-Muslim war, or both.show more