Saudi king issues decrees to ease domestic tensionsMarch 18th, 2011 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS
Riyadh, March 18 (IANS) Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Friday issued a host of royal decrees to ease economic and social pressures on his kingdom, Xinhua cited Saudi Arabia’s official TV in a report.
The decress include a minimal wage in the kingdom and an unemployment allowance.
Ahead of reading out the 18 decrees, the king addressed the nation and hailed Saudis for their loyalty in the wake of weeks which witnessed calls circulated on social networks to stage a nationwide protest in the kingdom.
In one of the decrees, the king decided to pay an allowance equal to two-month salary to all public servants, including military, while in another one, he decided to set a minimum monthly wage of 3,000 riyals (about $800) for Saudis in government jobs.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has witnessed protests but the scale of these protests has not reached the level of streets-generated protests which hit Egypt, Tunisia and the kingdom’s neighbouring Bahrain.
Most of the protests hitting the Saudi kingdom have been staged by minority Shias who complain of discrimination in jobs.
However, the Saudi kingdom strongly denies such claims.
Last month, King Abdullah unveiled handouts worth an estimated $37 billion to ease social pressures.
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