- Ivory Coast has decided to slash minister's salaries by half to finance 10 percent cut on fuel prices which government effected in the country yesterday.
Decision announced yesterday, followed widespread protests and serious transport strike last week over highly inflated fuel prices in country.
Prime Minister Guillaume Soro said half salary measure will also affect managers of state-owned companies in what he termed common man's cries of distress.
"We have decided to cut basic salaries of all members of government by half," he said, adding that overseas trips by government officials would also be reduced to the bare minimum.
"Having heard people's cry from heart, government has decided to fix price of diesel at Euro1," said Mr Soro, after an emergency cabinet meeting.
He noted that a ration in ministers salaries was critical as new transport subsidies would cost state an additional Euro 300 million annually.
He also announced that government pay cheques would be trimmed, saying running costs and investments in government departments would also be cut to help cope with extra expenditure.
Ivorian government attributed increase, first since July 2005, to rising global oil prices and cost of state subsidies to maintain domestic oil prices at manageable levels.
It was unclear whether the move would appease unions, which called a stoppage last week that disrupted public transport in main Abidjan although cocoa exporters said they were little affected because it happened at a quiet time of year.
Escalating food prices sparked violent protests in capital Abidjan in March and April, when housewives took to streets banging pots and pans, youths built burning barricades, a protest, which claimed a man's live.
On 7 July, Ivory Coast increased diesel prices by 44% and petrol prices by 29%. Government attributed increase to rising global oil prices, a move which brought Abidjan to a stand still when transport sector went on strike.
Ivory Coast, a former French colony and a West African economic powerhouse, was for years a paragon of stability in Africa, but was sliced in half after a September 2002 coup attempt against president Laurent Gbagbo.
After a peace accord between two sides in March 2007, a unity government was installed earlier this year with Mr Gbagbo sharing power with former rebel chief Soro as his prime minister.
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