Jordan’s Prime Minister Quits as Protesters Demand an End to Austerity

The king, who appoints the prime minister, the cabinet and members of the upper house of Parliament, appointed Omar Razzaz, a former World Bank official and education minister, to replace Mr. Mulki and lead a new government. It was not clear whether Mr. Razzaz would pursue the proposal to increase the tax rate on workers by at least five percentage points and on businesses by 20 to 40 percentage points.

The country’s economic picture is already gloomy, with the official unemployment rate above 18 percent and the poverty rate even higher. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees live in Jordan, compounding the country’s economic troubles, while the civil war in Syria has also cut off what had been one of Jordan’s most important trading partners.

Incomes in Jordan have stagnated for years, as prices have soared. Amman, the capital, ranks as the most expensive city in the Arab world, and it has a higher cost of living than much wealthier cities, like Dubai, London and Washington, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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