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 Words in the News
  BBC Middle East Correspondent Frank Gardner reported on how the price of oil, which has caused protests in Europe, has brought benefits to the oil producing nations.
  AudioListen to the report in full
Oil cash bonus

14th September 2000

Gulf oil cash bonus

 AudioListen to the first part of the report
  With the oil price soaring above thirty dollars a barrel and the pumps going nearly at full capacity, Gulf Arab coffers are overflowing with unforeseen wealth. Two years ago the Gulf was in crisis. Cheap oil prices meant governments could no longer offer guaranteed civil service jobs to school leavers, as they’d come to expect. Economists predicted a social crisis. Now the pressure is off -- at least for a while. As it often takes several months for oil price changes to feed through to the economy, planners are still debating on how to spend this financial windfall. For Saudi Arabia, a rich country saddled with foreign debts and budget deficits, an obvious answer would be to try and balance the books.
  AudioListen to the words

soaring - if something is soaring, it is going up to a high level

coffers - the amount of money that an organisation or company has available to spend

overflowing - more than full

unforeseen - not predicted

to feed through - to go from one place to another, usually slowly

financial windfall - large amount of unexpected money

saddled with - having a big problem with

balance the books - pay money that is owed so that the country is not in debt any more

NEWS 2  AudioListen to the second part of the report
  But increased oil revenues can also tempt Gulf governments to spend more on arms. Last week Saudi Arabia announced an arms deal with the United States worth nearly three billion dollars. As more unexpected cash flows in from oil sales the estimated seven thousand Saudi princes are likely to demand an ever-bigger share. Many economists worry that high oil prices will simply bring a return to the lavish unplanned expenditure which proved so damaging to the economy in the past.
  AudioListen to the words

oil revenues - money from the sale of oil

tempt - encourage or persuade

arms - weapons

lavish - extravagant and excessive

expenditure - the spending of money

   Read about the background in BBC News Online

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