"Syria will phase out massive fuel subsidies over five years to combat smuggling and prevent the budget deficit from sinking further into the red, a senior official said on Tuesday.
The smuggling is estimated to cost the government $800 million a year, according to economists. Dardari said smuggling to Lebanon alone cost Syria $300 million. "Tightening border security will not solve the problem. We have to adopt a fundamental solution. Economic growth will become unsustainable if we continue with this subsidies regime," Dardari said."