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Prime minister briefs EU ambassadors on economic situation

By JT - Nov 14,2012 - Last updated at Nov 14,2012

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Wednesday briefed ambassadors of EU countries on the country’s economic situation and the steps taken by the government to narrow a widening budget deficit.

During a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, attended by Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Ensour said JD2.5 billion of the budget deficit of JD6 billion (including the deficit in electricity generation) is caused by the fluctuations in the Egyptian gas supply, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He pointed to economic measures that would “protect” Jordanians with limited income, or about 70 per cent of Jordanians, from the effects of the decisions taken to lift fuel subsidies to address the country’s difficult financial situation.

Ensour also said the government has taken measures to control government spending, including the merger of independent public agencies and scrapping others.

Petra said the EU ambassadors praised the relations between their countries and Jordan, emphasising their keenness to help safeguard Jordan’s stability in light of the current regional situation.

They said they believe Jordan will remain an attractive environment for foreign investments, which would create jobs and push the wheel of economic development forward, the agency added.

The premier emphasised the “historical relations” that link Jordan to European countries, and thanked the EU for its support to the Kingdom politically, economically and socially.

Judeh spoke about the Syrian crisis and reiterated the Jordanian stance, which is with the Arab consensus that calls for a political solution to end the suffering of the Syrians, stop the bloodshed and preserve Syria’s unity.

The ambassadors praised Jordan’s hosting of Syrian refugees and providing them with their basic needs.

Also during the meeting, Ensour reiterated Jordan’s commitment to conducting parliamentary elections slated for January 23, 2012, in a fair and transparent manner.

In coordination with the Independent Elections Commission, the government will provide the needed facilities for international observers and civil community organisations wishing to monitor the polls, the premier said.

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