Jordan Protests Victorious As Government Nixes IMF-Backed Tax Bill

Amid pressure from Jordan’s largest protests since the Arab Spring, Prime Minister-designate Omar Razzaz announced 7 June the government would bin a controversial planned tax hike. This is but Amman’s latest attempt to conciliate public outrage. King Abdullah already agreed to cancel price hikes for electricity and transport fuels on 1 June; he then forced out previous PM Hani al-Mulki three days later.

Coercing the monarch to ease reform efforts is a considerable victory for the aggrieved demonstrators, and it is unclear whether the concessions will be enough to quell the unrest. What is clear, however, is that Jordan’s economic lethargy is here to stay. The IMF says “with a difficult regional outlook, sluggish economic reforms, and contractionary fiscal and monetary policies in place, it is difficult to foresee a strong recovery in growth.”


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