Protesters demonstrating against Yemen's fuel shortages shout slogans in Sanaa, June 11, 2014. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)
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SANAA/Dubai: A clampdown on state spending was an effort by Yemen's government this month to win public support before its biggest economic reform in years: higher fuel prices.The government has been trying for more than a year to secure a loan of at least $560 million from the International Monetary Fund, which is pressing for reforms such as cuts in subsidies which keep down prices of gasoline and other fuel.A previous attempt by the government to cut subsidies in 2005 led to unrest, which left some 20 people dead and over 300 wounded.Pumps in Sanaa sell a liter of gasoline – when they have it – at an official, subsidized price of 125 rials ($0.58), below roughly 300 rials charged on the black market, where prices have risen sharply because of the fuel supply crisis.Fuel subsidy reform would hurt not only Yemen's poor but also relatively affluent people.
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