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Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 12:00 UK

Ivory Coast halves government pay

Taxis line a street in the Treichville quarter of Abidjan on July 17, 2008. Tens of thousands of people in Ivory Coast"s capital Abidjan were forced to walk to work as taxi and minibus drivers began
Ivorians walked to work during last week's strike

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," Mr 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.

Mr 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.

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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