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Jordan accuses teachers union of 'economic crimes' in crackdown

Activists claim Jordanian government is applying "defense laws" to suppress dissent during economic downturn.

AMMAN, Jordan — As the COVID-19 caseload rises once again in Jordan, the government calmed fears that a complete lockdown would be reinstituted, heeding the advice of Jordanian economists who warned that the economy “could not bear such a move.”

Though Jordan seems to have survived the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed thus far — 1,532 cases and 11 deaths to date — there have been major economic consequences of what was dubbed “the world’s toughest lockdown.” According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, by the end of the year a quarter of the country’s labor force will be out of work and gross domestic product is expected to have shrunk by 5% — Jordan’s first economic contraction in over 30 years.

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