PANEM ET CIRCENSES: The Syrian government raised prices on fuel and bread over the weekend, sparking a crisis in regime-controlled areas in and around the capital amidst cash-strapped civilians.
“The situation has become unbearable,” Abu Talal al-Homsi, the alias of a resident of regime-controlled Damascus originally from Homs told Syria Direct on Tuesday.
“Even before the rise in prices gas was scarce and difficult to obtain,” he said.
The regime also announced a monthly raise of SP4,000 [$22] for state employees on Sunday. The raise, described as “a living compensation,” will go into effect in February.
Those not working for the government are feeling the financial strain of the price increase, which began Sunday.
A number of “service” (سرفيس) drivers in Damascus, many of whom work independently or for private companies, refused to work on Monday because of the lack of fuel at gas stations. Black market fuel prices have skyrocketed since the announcement, according to Dubai based channel, AlAan TV.
Other drivers simply cannot afford the increase and have stopped work entirely, reported pro-opposition news agency Syria Mubashir.
The cessation of bus routes, combined with numerous checkpoints scattered throughout Damascus and other pro-regime areas, have created headaches for civilians.
Meanwhile, activists in the pro-Assad city of Suwayda, capital of the eponymous province in southern Syria, have called over social media for protests and sit-ins on Wednesday against the rise in prices and deteriorating living conditions.
-January 20, 2015
-Photo courtesy of slnnews.co.
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