King Abdullah. Giving in to protests
Photo: AFP

Jordan's king stops fuel price hike

Following protests held across kingdom, Abdullah orders government to freeze decision to raise petrol prices by 10%

Jordan's King Abdullah has ordered the government to freeze its decision to raise fuel prices, following protests held across the kingdom on Sunday, including in the capital of Amman.


The demonstrations were organized mainly by the country's Islamist opposition.


The government of Prime Minister Faiz Al-Tarawneh announced its decision to raise petrol prices by 10% on Saturday - the second price hike this year. According to a government spokesman, the move was aimed at cutting subsidies in order to ease the state budget. The price of 1 liter of 95-octane gas was slated to reach 1 Jordanian dinar (about $1.4).


The protestors' anger was directed at the government, with one of the rallies being held outside the Interior Ministry, considered to be the strongest institution in the kingdom.


According to local reports, a majority of parliament members were planning a no-confidence vote against the government in response to its decision.


The Jordanian economy has been suffering in light of the global and regional financial crises. As it is mostly based on the import of energy sources, the global increase in oil prices has a destructive affect on the country's treasury.


During the first half of the year, Jordan imported 97% of its energy sources at a cost of $3.5 billion.


The situation in Syria is affecting the Jordanian economy as well. The ongoing influx of refugees has been creating additional pressure on the kingdom's treasury.


Several days ago, the Jordanian government issued an urgent request to the international community for $700 million in aid in order to help care for the Syrian refugees arriving in the country.


Doron Peskin is head of research at Info-Prod Research (Middle East) Ltd.



פרסום ראשון: 09.04.12, 07:45
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