Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday passed an emergency spending bill to allow the cash-strapped government to borrow abroad as the economy reels from low oil prices, although they approved less than a third of the original amount requested.
Kurdish lawmakers say their share should not be linked to unresolved oil issues between Baghdad and their region. But legislators, mainly from the Shiite blocs and some Sunni lawmakers, insist that the Kurds should only receive their part of the emergency funding if they hand over their oil revenue to Baghdad.
Most of the Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the voting session, lawmakers said.
The World Bank estimates Iraq’s economy will shrink 9.7 percent in 2020 due to lower oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, following growth of 4.4 percent in 2019.