Jordan Scrambles to Keep Its Economic Reforms on Course

Jun 6, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

Jordanian police officers secure the office of the prime minister during a demonstration in the capital Amman late on June 4, 2018. Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki resigned on June 4 after a wave of anti-austerity protests by citizens suffering from high unemployment and repeated price hikes.

Security forces face off with protesters in front of the prime minister's offices on June 4, 2018, in Amman. The prospect of having to pay income tax, a levy that very few Jordanians have ever had to consider, has stirred protest in the kingdom, which is pursuing reforms to try to restructure its economy.



  • Public discontent in Jordan, this time over the kingdom's austerity and tax measures, has led to the resignation of its prime minister. But the next government still must cope with the same economic reform pressures.
  • The government's willingness to delay some of the economic demands it is making of its subjects displays a weakness that leaves space for protesters to organize, heralding more unrest.
  • Jordan's reliance on aid, loans and grants will allow Gulf Cooperation Council states, particularly the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to nudge the country toward aligning more publicly with their anti-Iran foreign policies.

Days of labor strikes and protests by citizens from all walks of life against an income tax proposal have shaken up Jordan. The unusual display of public discontent in the normally placid kingdom drew promises from King Abdullah II and the rest of the government to reconsider plans for additional levies. The king himself even promised a temporary freeze on additional increases in fuel and electricity prices. Amid the hullabaloo, Prime Minister Hani Mulki stepped down and was replaced by the newly appointed Omar Razzaz....

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