As public anger goes on: Jordanian king holds urgent consultations, visits poorest regions
Jordan's King Abdullah II on Sunday held a series of consultations with representatives of various political forces in the kingdom to learn more about the demands of the Jordanian people. The Palestinian Al Quds newspaper quoted a Jordanian source as saying: "The king held a series of consultations with senior officials in the country, including political activists, trade unionists and Islamists and listened to complaints in order to find out the needs of the Jordanian street."
The source added that "the King paid unannounced visits to the poorest regions of the Kingdom in order to learn about the needs of its sons."
In spite of the government taking a series of measures to curb price hikes, demonstrations against the dire economic situation in the Kingdom have been continuing over the past two weeks. The protestors have demanded the dismissal of the government headed by Prime Minister Samir Rifai.
A number of Jordanian cities witnessed last Friday protest rallies with a wide participation of thousands of citizens. These protests were led by opposition parties and trade unions. They demanded the sacking of the government and implementing economic reforms.
The government of Samir Rifai announced Thursday a raise in the salaries of public sector employees and retirees by 20 dinars per month, which is equivalent to US$28. The total cost of this raise to the Treasury amounts to JD160 million (US$225 million).