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Ivory Coast halves government pay

IVORY COAST, July 22 – The Ivory Coast government is halving the salaries of its ministers to pay for a reduction in the price of fuel.

Prime Minister Guillaume Soro said the managers of state-owned companies would also have their pay cut in half, to pay for a 10% cut in fuel prices.

"Having heard the people’s cry from the heart, the government has decided to cut the price of fuel," Soro said.

Following the announcement, a week-long announcement strike by public transport workers has been called off.

On 7 July, Ivory Coast increased diesel prices by 44% and petrol prices by 29%.

The government attributed the increase to rising global oil prices.

Soro said running costs and investments in government departments would also be cut to help cope with the extra expenditure.

Overseas trips by government members would also be reduced to a "bare minimum", he said.

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Escalating food prices sparked violent protests in Abidjan in March and April, when housewives took to the streets banging pots and pans, youths built burning barricades and at least one man was killed.

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