Jordanians protest rising fuel prices

Nov. 17, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Mass protests over rising gas prices broke out across Jordan, with protesters calling for the ouster of King Abdullah II, political analysts said.

This week's protests were sparked by cuts in government subsidies for basic goods, including gasoline and cooking gas, Voice of America reported Friday. The cuts caused gasoline to rise 14 percent and cooking fuel to skyrocket 50 percent, VOA said.

Some protesters have different concerns, however, said political analyst Labib Kamyahi.

"The issue is the silent majority which is the crux of the opposition in Jordan. A lot of people are not happy and they are angry -- they are secular -- and most of their resentments come from economic hardships and corruption in the country. Also people are very upset at -- if they want to read the future it is doom and gloom," Kamyahi said.

Abdullah, who rules over a kingdom of 6.5 million people where unemployment is estimated anywhere from 12 percent to 30 percent and the average per-capita income is about $6,000, has promised political reforms, but changes so far have been little more than cosmetic, Kamyahi said.

"It's like they swallowed the reform program initially and they produced it in a modified form that did not satisfy the ambition of the Jordanian people, especially when it comes to the two issues of corruption and democracy. On these two fronts the regime failed miserably," Kamyahi said.

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