Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 12:46 UK

Lebanon's bakers reduced prices

Lebanese bakery
Bread is one of the main staple foodstuffs for poor Lebanese families

A day after they increased the price of bread by a third, bakers in Lebanon have agreed to reduce prices to previous levels.

This follows the intervention of the economy ministry, which said it would increase flour subsidies.

Bakers had blamed their earlier decision to raise prices on sharply higher flour and fuel costs.

Higher world commodity prices are leading to sharp increases in the cost of living in the Arab world.

The Lebanese economy minister, Sami Haddad, said the price of bread was a red line, which the authorities would not allow to be crossed.

In Egypt, bread prices have risen by more than half over the past year, causing widespread discontent.

About 10 people have died in clashes in Egyptian bread queues in the past few months.

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