Price hike enrages public [Archives:2005/861/Front Page]

July 21 2005
Marchers distruct properties and pull them into the streets
Marchers distruct properties and pull them into the streets
Photo from archived article: photos/861/front1_2
Photo from archived article: photos/861/front1_2
By Adel al-Khawlani
& Yasser al-Mayasi
Yemen Times Staff

SANA'A- Thousands of people streamed into the streets of the capital city and other Yemeni main cities on Wednesday July 20 in protest against the price hike implemented by the government on oil derivatives.

Several locals were killed and others injured in the demonstrations that were accompanied by chaos with open fire shooting in al-Dhale' and other cities.

The angry protestors in the capital moved toward the Parliament and the Prime Minister's office protesting against the government policies that worsened the living standards of people.

In Sana'a, the riot, pulling together people from different classes, started from Dar Salm, to the south of the capital, and headed toward the Presidential Palace where all routes leading to it were blocked and manned by security troops. Similar demonstrations accompanied by public chaos and destruction of government and private properties took place at the same time in al-Hasaba and Hayel Streets, north and west of the capital.

The police opened fire in the air and used tear gas to disperse the wrathful protestors who committed acts of vandalism, destroying both public and private properties, mainly in the capital city of Sana'a.

The Arab Insurance Company and Bin Shu'ailan Car Trade Company located near the Presidential Palace were badly damaged along with some tourist hotels and restaurants by the stones of protestors.

In Shumaila, two cars belonging to citizens were burned as teenage protestors set tyres and tubes aflame stopping traffic in the street, fortunately the drivers escaped unhurt.

Several teenage protestors were caught and harshly beaten by the police as they attempted to move towards the Presidential Palace.

Ibrahim al-Umaisi, a taxi driver who left his car and joined the demonstration said that he has been queuing at a petrol station since the government announced price increase of oil derivatives last night.

“To avoid the economic collapse alleged by PM, the government should stop giving new expensive cars to officials and influential authorities,” Ibrahim added.

Mohammad al-Washali, a wholesaler who didn't open his stores on Wednesday, said he expected the price hike to be cause of tension and public uproar.

The government decided to lift subsidy on oil derivatives on Tuesday July 19 leaving a price increase ranging from 50% to 200%, justifying their decisions that prices of oil derivatives have been changed all over the world.

The price of diesel rose from YR17 to 45 per liter and similarly the price of kerosene, while petrol's price jumped from YR 35 to 65 per liter. The price of gas rose to YR400 per cylinder instead of YR250.

The government made a number of decisions which include reducing the tariff on basic commodities and appliances, cutting the sales tax, concealing production and consumption taxes, and increasing the number of cases covered under the Social Care System to 200 thousand.

Additionally, the Cabinet started the gradual application of the wages and salary laws for all the civic and military employees, and that YR20 thousand will be the lowest salary at the government's job ladder.