ALGIERS, Algeria – Tensions are mounting over Algeria's 2017 budget, which foresees tax hikes and salary freezes to offset a plunge in gas revenues.
Teachers and medical workers are threatening strikes Nov. 27-29 over the changes, and opposition lawmakers debating the budget this week warn it will cause public unrest.
Legislators from the pro-government RND party, meanwhile, are criticizing the budget as inadequate to solve the gas-dependent country's deep economic problems.
The budget includes a rise in sales tax from 15 percent to 17 percent, hikes in gasoline prices and higher taxes on cigarettes, and public sector salary freezes.
Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal appealed "for the understanding of the Algerian people in these difficult times."
Algeria's revenues have shrunk sharply over the past two years as oil prices fell from record highs.