Nationwide strike in Jordan as protests continue

08 June, 2018, 07:34 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Jordan's King Replaces Embattled PM to Defuse Anti-Government Protests

Harvard-educated Razzaz, who was education minister, will start consultations on Wednesday to form a new government.

He called for political parties, unions and civil society groups to take part in the talks.

They are the latest in a series of measures since Amman secured a $723-million three-year credit line from the International Monetary Fund in 2016.

In a letter charging new premier Omar al-Razzaz with forming a government, King Abdullah II said it "must carry out a comprehensive review of the tax system" to avoid "unjust taxes that do not achieve justice and balance between the incomes of the poor and the rich".

Anti-riot police face off against people gathered in protest outside the Prime Minister's office ( location also known as the 4th circle) on June 4, 2018 in Amman, Jordan. Razzaz replaces Hani Mulki, who resigned after refusing to scrap the tax reform bill.

The king blamed the country's economic woes on regional instability, the burden of hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and a lack of global support. Dozens of people were detained and more than 40 security members were injured in clashes.

Talks with Trump are like sausages, says French President Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday no leader was forever, suggesting a more confrontational attitude towards U.S. President Donald Trump as leaders from the Group of Seven countries prepare to clash on trade at a summit in Canada .

King Abdullah expressed Jordan's appreciation for Kuwait's historically supportive stands led by Sheikh Sabah, stressing the strength of brotherly relations between the two countries and the keenness to elevate them to the highest levels in the service of their common interests.

Public resentment has been building since bread subsidies were ended and the general sales tax hiked steeply earlier this year under an IMF-driven plan to cut Jordan's $37 billion debt.

In a sign the tax hikes could be shelved, the official Petra news agency, citing the speaker of parliament, said MPs were on course to ask the king's permission to hold an exceptional session, with a majority demanding the changes be withdrawn.

Officials said he had been an opponent of reforms that hurt the poor.

While Jordan has remained relatively stable during recent periods of turmoil in the Middle East, the country's debt has reached $40 billion, equivalent to 95 percent of the country's GDP, and the country relies heavily on worldwide aid. His appointment still sends a message to foreign donors that Jordan will press ahead with reforms, though in a gradual way, they said. Jordan was rocked by unrest in 2012 when the International Monetary Fund told the government to lift gasoline prices.

In a letter accepting the Mulki's resignation, the king reportedly praised the former PM for "bravely taking hard decisions that were not popular but were in the higher interest of the nation" and urged him to help the new government through the transition process.

Recommended:



Popular

Comeback king Zverev and Djokovic into French Open quarters
Thiem called their upcoming quarterfinal "the matchup most fans in Germany and Austria were hoping for when they saw the draw". The 98th-ranked Putintseva was trying to become the first player from Kazakhstan to advance to a Grand Slam semifinal.

Curiosity Rover Uncovers Long-Sought Organic Materials on Martian Surface
A reminder: Organic molecules aren't necessarily produced by organisms; they're just chemical compounds that contain carbon. With future missions, scientists may be able to figure out whether or not the organic compounds are indeed biosignatures.

Beyonce and Jay-Z reveal new photos of their twins on tour
Reps for the couple told Buzzfeed News that the images shown during the On the Run II tour video of two babies weren't the twins. Bey and Jay have been stingy with images of their twins to date, making it downright impossible for anyone to identify them.

Autopilot was engaged during deadly Tesla crash in March
The Tesla's driver was found belted in his seat and bystanders removed him from the vehicle before it was engulfed in flames. The report noted that at four seconds before impact, Model X was no longer following a auto in front and began to speed up.

Alex Ovechkin of Washington Capitals wins Conn Smythe trophy as playoffs MVP
Washington challenged for goalie interference, but the call on the ice stood before Smith gave the home side a 3-2 lead. Entering this year's playoffs, the Capitals had fallen in nine of the previous 10 playoff series against the Penguins.

Capitals clip Golden Knights to capture their first Stanley Cup
The Golden Knights wrap up a storybook year, advancing all the way to the final in their first year of existence. Vegas lost three games in the first three rounds and never lost more than three in a row in the regular season.

Sister of Dutch Queen Maxima found dead in Argentina
Her body was found Wednesday night by her mother María del Carmen Cerruti and a friend of Zorreguieta, said news agency EFE. She had also worked for the social development ministry in Buenos Aires province and at a United Nations office in Panama.

Warriors close on title as Kevin Durant heroics beat Cavaliers
There are just 27 of them total outside of LeBron. "So just get back to work tomorrow and figure out a better game plan". Game Four will be in Cleveland Friday night at 9 PM ET, and the Warriors have opened as 4.5-point favorites.

Amazon to show live Premier League football matches
They will show one full Bank Holiday round of games and one further midweek round on their Prime streaming service. However, the entire auction has fallen short of the Premier League's hopes on revenue.

29th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square
Tens of thousands of people gathered in a downtown park in Hong Kong for an annual public commemoration of the crackdown. On Monday, the massacre's 29th anniversary, U.S.