Jordan’s government has halted a controversial rise in fuel prices after a week of mass street protests led to a dramatic intervention by King Abdullah yesterday.
Gasoline prices are subject to regular review by the government and were due to increase significantly this month, following a smaller rise in May. But hundreds of angry people chanting anti-government slogans descended on the prime minister’s office late on Thursday night, forcing the king to step in and attempt to defuse tensions.
The state news agency Petra quoted Prime Minister Hani Mulki as saying King Abdullah had ordered the gas price rise to be reversed.
While the king’s intervention brought a brief period of calm following Friday prayers, many Jordanians expect the civil unrest to continue. Last Wednesday thousands of people took to the streets to protest against planned tax hikes demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).