AKEED, Husam Assal
During his meeting the day before yesterday with the parliamentary Democracy Bloc, Jordanian Prime Minister Hani Mulki reportedly said that "the price of one kg of bread is equivalent to that of two cigarettes." The sentence made headlines on websites, while daily newspapers almost completely ignored it. Meanwhile, users on social media platforms told jokes about it.
News websites quoted the prime minister, following a meeting on economic challenges that face the country and the priorities of government reform, as saying that "there is no country in the world that subsidizes bread. Today, the price of one kg of bread is equivalent to that of two cigarettes." He added: "Every year, I throw away $100 million. This is hard currency leaving Jordan."
The Jordanian Media Credibility Monitor (AKEED) contacted MP Fiddiah Abu Qaddourah, member of the Democracy Bloc. She confirmed that "Mulki said this sentence during his meeting with the bloc."
Electronic sites covered Mulki"s meeting with the bloc by reviewing the issues and subjects that were raised, while reporting the said sentence and highlighting it in their headlines to emphasize it. They also highlighted it in the introduction to the news.
One website tried to handle the sentence differently. It said: "Mulki: Price of One KG of Bread Equivalent to That of Two Cigarettes…Jordanians Reply: Of "Mulki"s Cigars"" The website reviewed reactions and comments on social media platforms, most of which were satirical and critical.
On the other hand, a report carried by the Jordan News Agency (Petra) did not report the aforementioned sentence. It highlighted the proceedings of the meeting and the statements made during it.
Al Anbat daily published an article headlined "Mulki Breaks Barriers of National Pessimism," in which it discussed the results pertaining to Mulki"s popularity in the latest poll conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies. The article described the sentence as "joking" with the members of the Democracy Bloc.