AL-SAHWA: Sanaa weekly, 25-6-98. [Archives:1998/26/Press Review]

June 29 1998

[Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah)]   Main Headline:
1- Opposition parties call on the government to reverse its decision to raise prices.
2- The University of Sanaa was closed to prevent any possible student demonstrations.
3- Report submitted by the fact-finding mission, sent to investigate the killing of 2 men and the wounding of others in the 27-April Mukallah demonstration, is quite deficient.
4- Teachers at Aden and Sanaa universities give a one-week notice for their demands to be answered before going on strike.
Article Summary:
Rejecting Impoverishment
Islah is against the government’s latest decision to raise prices for the following considerations:
1- Reform has become almost exclusive to instituting price hikes in fuels and basic food commodities. Other elements of the reform program are ignored.
2- The burden of price increases is almost exclusively borne by the poor. It is essential to establish a social safety net to help alleviate some of the suffering.
3- It really seems that there is no urgent need for such price increases, considering that other very important administrative and financial elements of the reform program are still not implemented.
4- The extra resources generated by price hikes will almost certainly be misused. As before, most of the money will probably go to non-developmental projects.
5- There is no absolute economic necessity for raising prices at this particular moment in time. Local fuel prices have actually exceeded international levels.
6- Impoverishment and unemployment are likely to lead to untold social maladies, the treatment of which is almost impossible.