2017年08月04日

サウジアラビアの新たな皇太子とは誰か。 ムハンマド・ビン・サルマンは驚きだが、予想はできた。

Understanding Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince
Muhammad bin Salman is a shocking yet predictable choice
Jun 22nd 2017 | CAIRO

サウジアラビアの新たな皇太子とは誰か。
ムハンマド・ビン・サルマンは驚きだが、予想はできた。




FROM the moment he was named deputy crown prince in April 2015, Muhammad bin Salman seemed destined for the throne. The favourite son of King Salman, aged only 29 at the time, was handed control of the kingdom’s economy and made responsible for its defence. His youthful face was plastered on billboards around the kingdom—but with him, always, was the image of his older cousin, Muhammad bin Nayef, who as crown prince stood between the king and his favoured successor. 

favourite:お気に入りの
plastered:飾っている
billboards:屋外の大きな広告看板

That is no longer the case. On June 21st King Salman dismissed the crown prince and replaced him with Muhammad bin Salman, who sealed the changeover by kissing his cousin’s hand as the former crown prince left the Safa palace in Mecca (see picture). “I pledge allegiance to you through the best and the worst,” said the demoted prince. Video of the exchange went viral. The authorities are keen to give the impression of an orderly transition. State media reported that 31 of the 34 princes in charge of succession approved the change. 

dismissed:解任する
sealed:を決定的なものにする
changeover:転換・移行
allegiance:忠誠
the best and the worst:hope for the best and prepare for the worst 最善の状態が訪れるように祈り最悪の事態に備えて覚悟しておく
demoted:の地位を下げる
viral:ウィルスの・口コミの

But the move will surely irk some royals. King Salman is the sixth son of Saudi Arabia’s founding monarch to reign. He shook things up in 2015, when he passed over his remaining brothers and named Muhammad bin Nayef, his nephew, as crown prince. The elevation of his son is an even more striking break with tradition. Power is now concentrated in a single branch of the family tree. Royals on the other limbs see the new crown prince as a man in a hurry—too much of one. Concerns abound over his ambitious agenda at home and his rash interventions abroad. 

irk:苛立たせる
shook things up:再編成する
passed  over:無視する
elevation:登用
striking:目立った
limbs:手足
abound:たくさんある
rash:思慮に欠ける

Muhammad bin Salman (or MBS, as he is called) hopes to wean the economy off oil and bring down vast budget deficits. Economists have welcomed his plan, known as Saudi Vision 2030. But its implementation seems precarious. When civil servants howled about plans to cut their ample pay, the government backed down in April. As the king announced MBS’s promotion, he also promised to reinstate bonuses and benefits that MBS had cut. That will add billions to this year’s budget deficit, already projected to reach 12% of GDP. The government says its finances are improving, but businessmen question its figures and the oil price is tumbling again. 

wean:離乳させる
precarious:不安定な
howled:わめく
ample:十分すぎるほどの
back down:取り消す
reinstate:復活させる
tumbling:暴落する

The happy prince
Analysts fear that MBS’s personal ambition makes him a less effective reformer. His recent economic manoeuvring, which also included promises of free housing, may have been aimed at shoring up support ahead of his promotion. Similarly, after taking the kingdom to war in neighbouring Yemen in 2015, he was happy for a while to pose as a dashing military leader. But as the conflict turned into a quagmire, he has stepped back from the limelight, and the decision to go to war has been recast as a collective one. 

shoringup:悪化しないように持ちこたえる
limelight:注目
recast:再構成する
collective:集団による

Even so, the war has hurt his credibility, and he seems to have learned little from it. On June 5th Saudi Arabia led other Arab countries in blockading Qatar, alleging that the tiny gas-rich monarchy supports terrorism and is too cozy with Iran—charges it denies. No one knows what MBS’s endgame might be. Some fear that, in attempting to assert the kingdom’s primacy in the region, he risks destabilising it. Even the prospect of this unnerves foreign investors, whom MBS is trying to woo. 

endgame:最終局面
primacy:卓越
unnerves:動揺させる
woo:せがむ

It is possible that the king had hoped to consolidate his succession before his health failed him. (It is not unusual for the fortunes of Saudi royal offspring to take a turn for the worse on the death of their father.) Some put the timing down to President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in May. MBS curried favour with Mr Trump by buying $110bn worth of American weapons, cynics say. 

consolidate:強固にする
curried favour with:機嫌を取る

A number of important positions changed hands on June 21st, and even more in the past several months. All the recent moves seemed aimed at consolidating power around MBS. He has, for example, won the loyalty of royal uncles by giving their sons prominent posts. His own brother, Prince Khalid, was appointed ambassador to the United States in April. A young and little-known prince called Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef was named interior minister, thus ending Muhammad bin Nayef’s long involvement in the kingdom’s security. His efforts to defeat terrorists were generally considered successful. Allies saw him as a reliable partner. His ministry was perhaps the best-run government office in the kingdom. 

The defence ministry run by MBS has, however, not done at all well in prosecuting the war in Yemen. After kissing his older cousin’s hand on his way out of the door, MBS told him, “We are always in need of your direction and guidance.” Many Saudis hope he means it. 

サルマンが皇太子になったので、そのことでサウジがどうなるかの記事だが、多分、サウジを意識しているので、悪口は書いていない。ただ、かれの就任後の動きを見ていると本当に改革ができるのだろうかという疑問があるようだ。石油価格が低迷していて、財政の赤字が続くが、それの赤字を削減できそうになのだろう。イエメンの戦争も泥沼化している。やはり、サウジは凋落していくのだろう。

土曜日。今日は海野塾がある。ではまた明日。


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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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