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Kyrgyzstan: Inflation Looms as Possible Trigger for Fresh Unrest in Bishkek

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is raising an alarm about a spike in inflation in Kyrgyzstan. The country, weakened by instability over the past year, lacks the means to cope with a surge in consumer prices.

An IMF team of evaluators carried out a five-day visit to Kyrgyzstan January 31-February 4. The Central Asian state is struggling to recover from a tumultuous 2010, during which the country experienced the collapse of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration, was convulsed by inter-ethnic rioting in southern provinces and overhauled the constitution.

At the outset of 2011, the country experienced a bout of labor unrest, primarily strikes carried out by disgruntled teachers and doctors. As it tries to dig the country out of its economic hole, Kyrgyzstan’s new government has pledged to give teachers and medical personnel a significant pay hike.

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Deirdre Tynan is a Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asian affairs.

Kyrgyzstan: Inflation Looms as Possible Trigger for Fresh Unrest in Bishkek

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