Violent protests broke out across Jordan on Tuesday night after the government announced an increase in fuel prices, inciting what appeared to be an unparalleled show of anger directed at the king after months of mounting tension in the strategically important and politically fragile kingdom.
AMMAN, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Jordan lifted fuel subsidies on Tuesday, aiming to reduce the budget deficit and secure a $2-billion IMF loan, but sparking public protests as gasoline and other prices soared.
The budget deficit is forecast to rise to $3.5 billion this year, he added, without saying how much would be saved by cutting the subsidies. Jordan had been spending $2.3 billion annually on subsidies, almost a quarter of its annual budget.
"The fiscal situation of the kingdom had been heavily impacted by the Arab spring," Ensour said.
The bombing of a pipeline bringing Egyptian gas has forced Jordan to switch to costlier fuels for power generation and Saudi Arabia declined to repeat this year its payment of a $1.4 billion cash injection to stop the economy heading to the brink of collapse.