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Protests force concessions in Jordan

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Issue 2608
Omar Al-Razzaz
Omar Al-Razzaz (Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

Jordan’s new prime minister, Omar al-Razzaz, said last week he would drop a proposed tax law.

This move means Razzaz is conceding to a key demand of protesters who have already brought down the government.

King Abdullah called for new dialogue over the tax system after accepting the resignation of Razzaz’s predecessor, Hani Mulki.

The country’s biggest protests in years began at the beginning of June and saw thousands flooding on to the streets against poverty, austerity programmes and government corruption.

The movement became a focus for widespread anger at austerity and market reforms.


The protests included a general strike in May that involved 33 unions, which was followed by a day of mass protests.

The new tax law would have imposed a charge of up to 100 percent on some staple foods.

Even after Mulki’s resignation, large crowds gathered in the capital Amman and other cities demanding that the tax bill be withdrawn.

On Wednesday of last week some businesses were closed by a strike.

Unnerved by the protests, three Gulf states pledged £2 billion aid to Jordan in an effort to buy off the revolt.


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