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In Kuwait, Unpopular Cutbacks Falter Ahead of Elections

Nov 7, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
In Kuwait, Unpopular Cutbacks Falter Ahead of Elections
Economic issues, including ballooning wages and subsidies, have become hot-button issues as Kuwait's parliamentary elections approach.
(YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Across the Middle East, low oil prices are squeezing national budgets, forcing many governments to rethink their generous subsidy schemes. But managing the expectations of growing, more educated populations while cutting back on the services governments have long provided is no easy feat. Some states, such as Kuwait, have done a better job than others. Despite record-high deficits over the past two years, Kuwait is combining its wealth and creativity to overhaul its social benefits system in an innovative way. The country's population, however, is less than impressed by the capital's reforms. And with powerful labor unions and lawmakers on their side, citizens' increasingly vocal complaints may prove tough to silence....

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