Kyrgyzstan: Mountain Rally Brings Home Cost of Life Worries
When demonstrations begin taking place in the town of Naryn in Kyrgyzstan, the authorities need to start worrying.
As Kloop.kg reported, about 200 people gathered on January 27 on the main square of the high-altitude town for a rally to complain about issues including electricity tariffs and lack of transportation links in the region.
Maybe the most sensitive issue, however, was related to the salary bonuses paid to workers in mountainous locations. State employees there receive a 50 percent additional payment to compensate for the arduous living conditions, but lawmakers had been considering scrapping or minimizing that allowance to save costs. The government earlier in the week hastily ditched the proposal in recognition of its potential to provoke unrest, but that has not entirely soothed moods.
Not only do Naryn residents want the allowance to remain in place, but they also want it raised to 70 percent of their salaries. The Naryn rally was peaceful and proceeded without incident.
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