World Bulletin / News Desk
Jordan's King Abdullah has ordered the government to freeze a hike in the price of the low-grade fuel used by the poor in the aid-dependent kingdom, which is struggling to absorb refugees from neighbouring Syria.
The price hike, which sparked several scattered street protests by the government's tribal and Islamist opponents, was the second this year under IMF-guided measures to cut subsidies and ease budget strains.
Palace officials said on Monday the king had asked Prime Minister Fayez al-Tarawneh's government to freeze the planned 10 percent rise in the price of lower-grade gasoline.
On Sunday, 89 of the 120 deputies in the country's lower house of parliament signed a petition urging the king to dismiss Tarawneh over the move, which took effect on Saturday.
The government, mindful of public fury that exploded into street clashes in the depressed south of the country after two price hikes in 1989 and 1996, has long been reluctant to raise fuel prices.
Street protests early last year, inspired by the wave of Arab unrest, pushed the authorities to expand social spending and freeze fuel price hikes, including gasoline.
But the government raised the price of premium petrol by 20 percent last May and a month later raised the price of lower grade gasoline used by lower-income Jordanians - the majority of the country's seven million population - by 12.9 percent.
Jordanian officials say such measures show the commitment to fiscal consolidation needed to keep International Monetary Fund (IMF) support and win further aid.
Economists have it is becoming increasingly untenable for Jordan to maintain subsidies, plus a bureaucracy whose salaries consume most of the $9.6 billion annual budget, in the absence of large inflows of foreign capital or aid.
Officials say the rise in gasoline prices will help Jordan meet an IMF-backed budget deficit target of around 5 percent of gross domestic product after grants that traditionally cover budget shortfalls.
($1=.7109 Jordanian Dinar)
The tanker loaded the Kurdish crude at the Turkish port of Ceyhan around Aug. 8, and made a partial delivery to Croatia via a ship-to-ship transfer last week.
Soaring Chinese demand for commodities like coal has underwritten Mongolia's rapid growth, with more than 90 percent of its exports sold to China.
In a sign of frustration at the lack of broad support for reform, Sheremeta said on his Facebook page that he no longer wanted to "fight against yesterday's system".
McDonald's operates 438 restaurants in Russia and sees the country as one of its top seven major markets outside the United States and Canada
A tanker has docked at Es Sider and begun loading 600,000 barrels of oil, said Mohamed El Harari, spokesman for state-run National Oil Corp
Ethiopia, Africa's largest coffee grower, is set to continue talks with global buyers in hopes of branding and trademarking its world-renowned coffee and boosting national revenue.
Russia has banned the import of EU food products including fruit and vegetables from Poland, whose total food exports to Russia were worth around $1.5 bln last year.
Ukraine is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said.
Finnish electricity specialist Hiekkala: 'Finland and Baltic countries have possibilities to replace the import from Russia by own capacity or Nordic import.'
The Bahraini-based Dar Group (Al-Shair and Partners) and its Egyptian subsidiary, Dar al-Handasah, were awarded the contract worth some $1.8 billion to draw up the master plan for Egypt's Suez Canal development project.
Citizens unable to pay their credit card bills can apply to Finance Ministry to have their debts expunged.
Greek Cypriot Farmers’ Union EKA general secretary Panicos Hambas said that the Russian sanctions on the Greek Cypriot export of citrus fruits could lead Turkish Cypriot farmers to export their own fruits to Russia via Turkey.
The closing off of a major export market threatens to hurt segments of the euro zone economy at a time when growth is pretty poor anyway.
Thailand avoided recession in the second quarter, the state planning agency said on Monday, but questions remain about the pace and depth of growth.
The new ban would not apply to foreign automakers' production inside Russia. Ford, Volkswagen , Ford Renault, Toyota and Hyundai Motor Co all have production facilities inside Russia.
Across Asia's low-cost garment manufacturing industry in particular, there have been more strikes as unions use a shortage of skilled workers to press for better pay and improved safety