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Saudi gain before more pain

The rescinding of civil servants' pay cuts will not deflect the government from pursuing broad economic reforms

The unexpected sight of shut-down shops in the smartest malls in Riyadh and the scores of unfinished construction projects abandoned midstream tells a story. Saudi Arabia has been living through some hard times as it has struggled to cope with relatively low oil prices. In addition to cancelling several public projects, leaving private firms waiting months to be paid, last year the government went one step further. Having partially lifted subsidies on some basic goods and services, it shocked its citizens by cutting up to one-third from the salaries of civil servants. And there are a lot of civil servants in Saudi Arabia, around 70% of the total workforce. Directly or indirectly, the measur

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