In a rare televised speech, Saudi Arabia’s king said he was enacting a $67 billion package that included raises and loans for Saudis.
The AP called King Abdullah’s offer, “the Arab world’s most expensive attempt to appease residents inspired by the unrest that has swept two leaders from power.”
Reuters reports on the details of the package:
Amongst a wave of new spending, the decrees outlined a boost in welfare benefits, bonuses for public sector workers, including the army, and a massive drive to build new housing.
In addition, the king ordered the creation of 60,000 security jobs within the Read more…
RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi King Abdullah returned home on Wednesday after a three-month medical absence and unveiled benefits for Saudis worth some $37 billion in an apparent bid to insulate the world’s top oil exporter from an Arab protest wave.
The king, who had been convalescing in Morocco after back surgery in New York in November, stood as he descended from the plane in a special lift. He then took to a wheelchair.
Hundreds of men in white robes performed a traditional Bedouin sword dance on carpets laid out at Riyadh airport for the return of the monarch, thought to be 87.
Abdullah left his ailing octogenarian half-brother, Crown Prince Sultan, in charge during his absence.
Before Abdullah arrived, state media announced an action plan to help lower- and middle-income people among the 18 million Saudi nationals. It includes pay rises to offset inflation, unemployment benefits and affordable family housing.
Saudi Arabia has so far escaped popular protests against Read more…