Saturday, 25 December 2010

Los Angeles Times: IRAN: A daily balancing act as energy subsidies are removed

Ordinary Iranians just trying to make ends meet had to contend with sharply increased costs for fuel and other goods this week.

Authorities removed decades-old subsidies as part of an attempt to reduce the government's budget in the face of hard-hitting sanctions over Iran's nuclear program.

The removal of the subsidies has increased prices for a range of goods -- diesel as well as bread -- and is expected to jack up shipping costs for virtually everything else.

Authorities describe the plan as an attempt to remove subsidies that benefit Iranians of all economic classes and redirect money toward those who really need help.

The plan may work eventually, but for now it has created economic uncertainty among the middle and working classes.
-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: A woman in the southeastern Iranian city of Ahvaz balances a fuel cylinder full of natural gas on her head. Credit: Mohammad-reza Dehdari / Fars News Agency

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