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Middle East

Thousands rally in Jordan anti-government demo

media Map of Jordan CIA World Factbook

More than 5,000 people rallied in Amman and other cities after weekly prayers on Friday against Jordan's economic policies, demanding "bread and freedom" and that the government resign.


"What we urgently need is real political and socio-economic reforms," said Hamzeh Mansur the secretary general of the Islamic Action Front, which organised the protest.

About 1,400 people demonstrated in other parts of Jordan, mainly the northern cities of Zarqa and Irbid.

Jordan's official unemployment rate is about 14 per cent in a country of six million people, 70 per cent of them under the age of 30. But other estimates put the jobless figure at 30 per cent.

Jordan's Prime Minister Samir Rifai announced on Thursday a 211 million-euro plan to raise salaries of government staff as well as the pensions of retired government employees and servicemen in the face of popular discontent.

The 20 euros-a-month raise came nine days after a 124 million-euro plan to improve living conditions. The current minimum wage is worth 155 euros a month.

But the Islamist opposition and others say the new measures are not enough as poverty levels are running at 25 per cent.

"These measures are designed to drug people, nothing more. We need comprehensive reforms," said trade unionist Maisarah Malas.

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