Jordanians march against austerity

Demonstrators marked Jordan’s 1949 independence from British rule on May 25 by demanding reform and rejecting government plans to hike commodity prices and taxes to offset a $3 billion budget deficit. Chanting “No independence without reform” and “Do not set the country on fire by raising prices,” more than 1,000 people, including opposition Islamists, trade unionists and youth groups, chanted as they marched in central Amman. The demonstration came a day after MPs gave a vote of confidence to Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh’s government, which plans to increase commodity prices and taxes as part of an austerity package to avoid the huge deficit in the 2012 $9.6 billion budget. (Middle East Online, May 26)

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