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Mohammed Hussein, owner of an Amman, Jordan, sweets shop who is unable to meet this month’s rent, sees one reason for the country’s economic ills: “the big officials, mafia bosses, corrupt businessmen,” who “steal millions from the treasury to build villas.” His travails and views could fit easily in Tunis, Cairo, even Riyadh, where citizens are angered by the widening gap between haves and have-nots. They say economic and political elites have enriched themselves at the expense of the people, yet now expect taxpayers to foot the bill for painful reforms. Several Arab states are enacting World Bank recommendations to cut back bloated public sectors, reduce subsidies, and raise... Full story

18 August