The Arab Spring Hits Jordan
It is now Jordan's turn for the Arab Spring courtesy of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has told many of its followers to go there and demonstrate to end the monarchy. Using a page from the Egyptian demonstrations, thousands of locals and Egyptians have so far been peaceful after its fourth day. At first, the King of Jordan threatened to use iron force to quell the illegal activity, but the numbers simply are too great for that to be effective.
Many locals are furious about the cost of living and the government cut gasoline subsidies, which is now rising fast. Cooking gas rose 50%, kerosene, 33%. Jordan is facing serious economic conditions like many countries in Europe and has had to take out emergency loans. Part of the deficit is a result from the continuous sabotage of the pipeline between Jordan and Egypt costing five billion dollars.
About 300 have been arrested for rioting in Amman. Violence did break out when protesters attempted to reach the Royal government buildings. King Abdullah promised reform but little has changed and the protesters are in no mood after Tunisia and Egypt. He shuffled his cabinet officials and replaced others, but that has meant nothing. In January, Jordan will hold elections and the largest party is the Islamic Action Front. It is not clear at all what happens should they win. Jordan is a strong U.S. ally in the area and is an ally to Israel but the growing discontent is making both nervous after what has happened in Egypt.