Saudi princes arrested for protesting utility bills at ruling palace

Saudi princes arrested for protesting utility bills at ruling palace

Eleven Saudi princes were reportedly arrested for protesting at a royal palace in the capital Riyadh, according to local media on Saturday.

Aramco's IPO will comply with regulations of the Saudi stock exchange and also regulations of the worldwide market where it will be listed, the official bulletin said. The oil-rich Gulf has always been a tax-free haven for both high-income households and migrant labourers, who frequently rely on remittances to support their families back home.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has introduced reforms that include reducing energy subsidies, introducing value-added tax and cutting some perks to royal family members to try to cope with a drop in crude prices that has caused a budget deficit estimated at 195 billion riyals ($52 billion) in 2018. As per the International Labour organisation, the percentage of jobless people in Saudi is 32% (15 to 24 aged people) and 1.18 million Saudis are engaged in government sector while 1.23 million people are pensioners.

Nevertheless, the handouts are a sign that Saudi authorities are keen to limit damage to domestic demand from this year's austerity measures, and that rising oil prices are giving them the means to do so.

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Under Friday's royal decree, troops serving at the border with Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is allied with the government in a war against Shiite rebels, will receive a bonus of 5,000 riyals ($1,333, 1,108 euros).

King Salman directed the state to support the citizens by giving allowance on health and education services and on the purchase of houses which costs up to 850,000 riyals ($226,660).

The arrests were the latest sign of tensions within the Saudi royal family as the kingdom's young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, assumes an increasingly dominant role in the country's affairs.

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