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经济低迷时期,沙特王室是怎么花钱的

更新时间:2016-12-28 18:35:08 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Saudi Royal Family Is Still Spending in an Age of Austerity
经济低迷时期,沙特王室是怎么花钱的

TANGIER, Morocco — Behind a tall perimeter wall, studded with surveillance cameras and guarded by Moroccan soldiers, a sprawling new palace for King Salman of Saudi Arabia rose on the Atlantic coast here last summer.

摩洛哥丹吉尔——今年夏天,在一圈装有监控摄像头、由摩洛哥士兵守卫的高墙内,沙特阿拉伯国王萨勒曼(King Salman)一座巨大的新宫殿在这里的大西洋海岸边拔地而起。

Even as the Saudi government canceled a quarter of a trillion dollars’ worth of projects back home as part of a fiscal austerity program, workers hustled to finish bright blue landing pads for helicopters at the vacation compound and to erect a tent the size of a circus big-top where the king could feast and entertain his enormous retinue.

即使作为财政紧缩计划的一部分,沙特政府取消了国内总共价值2500亿美元的项目,工人们还是为这座度假设施修好了亮蓝色的直升机停机坪,搭建起一个大小和马戏团主帐篷差不多的帐篷,国王可以里面举办宴会,款待人数庞大的随行人员。

The royal family’s fortune derives from the reserves of petroleum discovered during the reign of Salman’s father, King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, more than 75 years ago. The sale of oil provides billions of dollars in annual allowances, public-sector sinecures and perks for royals, the wealthiest of whom own French châteaus and Saudi palaces and stash money in Swiss bank accounts.

王室的财富源自逾75年前,那是在萨勒曼的父亲阿卜杜勒·本·沙特国王(King Abdul bin Saud)统治时期,沙特发现了石油。石油销售收入每年带来了数以十亿美元计的补贴、公共部门的闲职,以及王室的福利。最富有的王室成员拥有法国城堡、沙特宫殿,以及瑞士银行账户的存款。

King Salman serves as chairman of the family business unofficially known as “Al Saud Inc.” Sustained low oil prices have strained the economy and forced questions about whether the family — with thousands of members and still growing — can simultaneously maintain its lavish lifestyle and its unchallenged grip on the country.

萨勒曼国王担任家族企业的主席,这个企业的非官方名称为阿勒沙特公司(Al Saud Inc.)。持续低迷的油价导致了经济紧张,人们怀疑这个拥有数以千计成员并且人数仍在增加的家族,是否能维持其奢华的生活方式,保持对沙特无人挑战的控制。

“The people have less money than before, but the royal family have the same,” said Prince Khalid bin Farhan al-Saud, a dissident member of the extended family living in Germany. “There is a lot of state money which is concealed from the budget, which is determined by the king alone.”

“人们的钱比以前少了,但王室的钱没有减少。沙特有很多钱没有计入预算,由国王一个人决定这些钱怎么花。”这个大家族中的异见者、现居德国的哈立德·本·法尔汉·阿勒沙特(Khalid bin Farhan al-Saud)王子说道。

These are anxious times for the royals, led by an 80-year-old who has already had at least one stroke and is likely to be the last of six sons of the founding monarch to serve as sovereign. He must wrangle a band of relatives, from the merely well-off to billionaires, who are accustomed from birth to privilege and plenty.

这是王室备感焦虑的时候。王室的领导者是一个80岁的老人,他已经至少中风过一次,可能会成为开国君主六个儿子中最后一个国王。他必须和一帮亲戚做斗争,这些亲戚有的过着小康生活,有些则是亿万富翁,他们从小就习惯了特权和富裕。

While there are serious problems beyond the borders — a costly war in Yemen, violence in Iraq and Syria, an emboldened Iran — it is the country’s economic troubles that risk roiling ordinary citizens, if their own cradle-to-grave benefits are cut too much.

虽然国界之外存在一些严重问题——也门发生了一场代价昂贵的战争,伊拉克和叙利亚存在暴力冲突,伊朗也很胆大妄为——但可能会引起普通民众骚动的是本国的经济困难,如果民众”从摇篮到坟墓“的福利被削减太多的话。

Revenues from the national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have long been the lifeblood of government spending. Some in the family have resisted a proposal by the king’s son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to partly privatize it, since listing it on stock exchanges in New York or London would bring new audits of Aramco and possibly more insights into government funding, and in turn, money for the royals.

国有油企沙特阿美公司(Saudi Aramco)的收入长期以来一直是政府支出的命脉。王室中一些人抵制了国王的儿子、副王储穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼(Mohammed bin Salman)将其部分私有化的建议,因为它在纽约或伦敦的证券交易所上市后,该公司就会遭受更多的审计,可能会让外人更多地了解政府资金的账目,从而了解到王室的资金信息。

Facing huge budget gaps, the government has cut public-sector pay along with subsidies, sending gasoline, electricity and even water bills higher. The kingdom has begun borrowing by the billions both at home and abroad. And hiring by the government — a large and sought after employer for Saudis — has been cut, instilling fear for the future in younger people who cannot find work.

面对巨大的预算差距,政府削减了公共部门的工资与补贴,让油价、电价甚至水价涨得更高。沙特已经开始在国内外欠下数十亿美元计的债务,而政府作为沙特人向往的大雇主,也削减了雇佣人数,让找不到工作的年轻人对未来渐渐有了恐惧。

Royals are sharing the pain, according to Anas al-Qusayer, the spokesman for the Ministry of Culture and Information, who said that their allowances had been reduced. At least some royals, though, have seen no decline in their stipends, according to several Saudis close to the family.

文化和新闻部发言人阿纳斯·阿勒古赛伊尔(Anas al-Qusayer)说,王室也在承受这种痛苦,他们的津贴已经减少。然而,几个了解王室内情的人说,至少某些王室成员的俸给并没有减少。

“Under Salman, princes again appear to enjoy a lot more material privileges, and the core allowance system has not been changed,” said Steffen Hertog, an associate professor at the London School of Economics who wrote a book on the political economy of Saudi Arabia, “Princes, Brokers and Bureaucrats.”

伦敦经济学院(London School of Economics)副教授斯蒂芬·赫尔托格(Steffen Hertog)说,“在萨勒曼领导下,王子们似乎再次享有了更多的物质特权,核心的津贴制度并没有改变。”他写过一本关于沙特阿拉伯政经方面的书,名为《王子、掮客和官僚》(Princes, Brokers and Bureaucrats)。

Some Saudi royals are still spending big. Dania Sinno, a real estate agent with Belles Demeures de France, said that multiple family members had been buying property in Paris in the last year. She recently sold a nearly 11,000-square-foot apartment on the exclusive Rue Octave-Feuillet for more than $30 million to a Saudi princess.

某些沙特王室成员的开支依然很大。法国美宅公司(Belles Demeures de France)的房地产经纪人达尼娅·辛诺(Dania Sinno)说,去年,多名王室成员在法国购置了房产。她最近把位于富人区奥克塔夫-弗耶街(Rue Octave-Feuillet)的一套面积接近1.1万平方英尺的公寓以逾3000万美元的价格卖给了一名沙特公主。

Through dozens of interviews with diplomats and money managers, economists, real-estate and travel agents, interior decorators and members of the House of Saud and by reviewing court records and real-estate documents, The New York Times has pieced together details of the family’s spending.

通过对外交官、基金经理、经济学者、房地产和旅游经纪人、室内设计师以及沙特王室成员进行数十次采访,并查阅法庭记录和房地产文件,《纽约时报》把沙特王室开支的诸多细节拼合了起来。

The scale of the clan’s fortune is a closely guarded secret. The money is divided among many relatives and spread across several continents, making a precise accounting difficult. The funding mechanisms are opaque by design. The share of the Saudi budget that ultimately makes its way into royal coffers is not disclosed.

王室的财富规模仍然是一个被严防死守的秘密。这些钱分散在很多王室成员手中和若干个国家里,难以进行精确的统计。资金运行机制在设计上就是不透明的。沙特的预算中有多少份额最终成为了王室的财政收入,目前尚未被披露。

While chinks in the wall of secrecy appear through legal cases and tabloid reports overseas, the royals have learned not to flaunt their wealth before the nation’s 30 million commoners. The family members have erected high walls around their palaces, bought overseas assets with shell companies, used intermediaries for large investments and demanded nondisclosure agreements from employees.

虽然世人可以从诉讼案和海外小报的报道中窥得一鳞半爪,但沙特王室成员已经学会了不在本国的3000万老百姓眼前炫富。他们在自己的宫殿周围竖起了高墙,通过空壳公司购买海外资产,利用中间人进行大手笔投资,并要求雇员签署保密协议。

The so-called Panama Papers released in April revealed that King Salman was involved in offshore companies in Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands. The records linked him to a yacht and multimillion-dollar properties in London.

今年4月被公之于众的所谓“巴拿马文件”显示,国王萨勒曼与卢森堡以及英属维尔京群岛的离岸公司有牵连。一些记录把他和一艘游艇以及伦敦价值成百上千万美元的房产联系了起来。

The relatives in the royal family number in the thousands, but from there, estimates diverge, said Joseph A. Kechichian, who has studied the family for three decades and wrote a book, “Succession in Saudi Arabia.” He estimates that there are now 12,000 to 15,000 princes and about as many princesses. Princess Basmah bint Saud, a daughter of King Saud, five years ago put the number of royals at 15,000.

王室成员数以千计,但对王室进行了30年的研究、著有《沙特阿拉伯王室传承》(Succession in Saudi Arabia)一书的约瑟夫·A·克奇安(Joseph A Kechichian)说,各方对人数的估计存在较大分歧。据他估算,目前有1.2万至1.5万名王子,公主的人数与此相近。沙特国王(King Saud)的女儿巴斯马·宾特·沙特公主(Princess Basmah bint Saud)则于五年前称,王室共有1.5万名成员。

But the Saudi ministry spokesman, Qusayer, said there were no more than 5,000 members of the House of Saud. The difference may stem in part from whether or how one counts distant relatives and families who ruled back before the time of King Abdulaziz, the current king’s father.

但沙特文化和新闻部发言人古赛伊尔说,沙特王室成员人数不多于5000人。这种分歧产生的部分根源在于:是否或者以何种方式计入远亲以及在现任国王的父亲阿卜杜勒-阿齐兹国王上台前掌权的王室成员。

At some point, the family could grow too large to support. “There has to be some decision about lopping off some of the branches,” said F. Gregory Gause III, a Middle East specialist at the Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service.

到了某个时刻,王室规模可能会扩大到支出高昂、无以为继的程度。“必须做出某种决策,砍掉一些枝蔓,”德州农工大学(Texas A&M University)布什政府与公共服务学院(Bush School of Government and Public Service)的中东问题专家F·格雷戈里·高斯三世(F. Gregory Gause III)说。

As the size of the family and the general population have grown, some observers say, the balance of rewards has become harder to maintain. Despite a robust social safety net — including free education and health care — there are poor Saudis, and many in the middle class barely make ends meet.

一些观察人士称,由于王室规模的扩大和总人口数的增加,社会收入分配的平衡已经变得愈发难以维持。尽管社会保障体系颇为强大——包括免费教育和医保——但一些沙特人依然穷困潦倒,很多中产阶级人士只能勉强糊口。

“At the top level, they know that they have to leave something for the rest of the country, otherwise they’ll be out on their ear,” Jean-François Seznec, senior fellow at the Global Energy Center at the Atlantic Council, said of the royal family. “If you ask the population to make sacrifices in order for the state to get money, you can’t have one part of the society take advantage.”

“位于最顶层的人知道,他们必须给这个国家的其他人留点儿什么,否则他们将被扫地出门,”大西洋理事会(Atlantic Council)全球能源中心的高级研究员让-弗朗索瓦·塞泽克(Jean-Francois Seznec)说。“如果你要求民众做出牺牲,以便增加政府的收入,你就不能让一部分社会成员占便宜。”

Senior members of the House of Saud are keenly aware that they lost their previous kingdom in the 19th century because of family infighting. King Saud was deposed in 1964 and replaced by his brother King Faisal, who, in turn, was assassinated by a nephew.

沙特王室高级成员敏锐地意识到,由于王室内斗,他们在19世纪失去了以前的王国。沙特国王于1964年被废,由他弟弟费萨尔国王(King Faisal)取而代之,后者则被自己的一个侄子暗杀了。

When upheaval occurred in countries all around Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring, King Abdullah’s response was to spend $130 billion on salaries and social programs.

“阿拉伯之春”运动期间,当沙特阿拉伯周围的各个国家纷纷发生骚乱的时候,阿卜杜勒国王以斥资1300亿美元提升工资待遇、搞社会项目作为回应。

Salman, who succeeded Abdullah in January 2015, bestowed an estimated $32 billion on his subjects, including bonuses of two months’ salary to government employees. Oil prices had begun their precipitous decline, but it was not yet clear how far they would fall.

萨勒曼于2015年1月继承阿卜杜勒的王位后,派发了价值约320亿美元的福利,其中包括给政府雇员发放相当于两个月薪水的补助。油价在那之前已经开始急剧下降,但人们尚不清楚降幅会是多大。

Three months later, the king promoted his nephew Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, now 57, as the first crown prince among the founding king’s grandsons, and his own son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, now 31, as next in line.

三个月后,萨勒曼国王将其现年57岁的侄子穆罕默德·本·纳伊夫王子(Prince Mohammed bin Nayef)指定为第一顺位继承人,并将自己的儿子、现年31岁的穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼王子(Prince Mohammed bin Salman)指定为第二顺位继承人。这二人都是建国君主的孙子。

While members of the family have been investing overseas for decades, the pace of buying homes abroad has quickened in the last two years, according to Ardavan Amir-Aslani, a business lawyer who has advised Saudi princes on real estate acquisitions in France. “In the event the situation becomes dire for them, they want to have an option, and a place to go to live, a place to have assets,” he said.

王室成员已经在海外投资了数十年,但商业律师阿尔达万·阿米尔-阿斯拉尼(Ardavan Amir-Aslani)说,他们在过去两年中加快了购买海外房产的步伐。阿斯拉尼曾为购买法国房产的一些沙特王子提供咨询服务。“一旦形势不妙,他们希望自己能有一条退路,有一个住的地方,一个置办有资产的地方,”他说。

“They’re not only securing their capital,” he added, “but also their future lives.”

他还表示,“他们既是为自己的资金上保险,也是为未来的生活上保险。”

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