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Saudi Arabia’s new broom reaches its energy prices

The partial lifting of fuel subsidies included in the kingdom’s 2016 budget represents a change to the assumptions on which the economy is based, and could eventually prompt calls for greater public representation

The lines of cars outside gas stations in the hours after the announcement of the Saudi budget for 2016, the first since King Salman and his team of young princes came to power a year ago, was sign enough that something major was happening. To the surprise of all, the government had announced the first tranche in a range of measures that will see a gradual lifting over the coming five years of subsidies on energy sources and basic commodities like water and electricity. The first to notice the change were the millions of Saudis and foreigners who rely on private transport for their daily needs. They learnt that gasoline prices had been increased by at least 50%. Thus the rush to the pumps w

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