05/30/2008, 00.00
JORDAN
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Islamic party expecting unrest in Amman because of soaring prices

The secretary general of the main opposition party warns “that in the coming days there will be an explosion, a very big explosion, and nobody can predict its repercussions and/or results.”

Amman (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Secretary General of Jordan's main opposition party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), warned of social unrest as a result of "insufficient" government policies to tackle soaring prices in the country.

“People's patience has its limits, and I think that in the coming days there will be an explosion, a very big explosion, and nobody can predict its repercussions and/or results,” Zaki Bani Rsheid said.

Prices in Jordan have risen sharply this year, with the cost of domestic fuel up by 76.1 per cent since January and electricity prices up by as much as 38 per cent.

Food prices have also risen and the International Monetary Fund projects an inflation rate of nine per cent in 2008, up from 5.4 per cent last year.

King Abdullah II told his government to take urgent steps to protect consumers from high prices.

“It is important that [. . .] steps have positive effects that are clearly felt by people,” the king told a cabinet meeting.

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