Saudi Arabia has fired its longtime serving finance minister amid measures to curb the kingdom’s severe economic problems.
Ibrahim Abdulaziz al-Assaf “has been removed from his position”, read a royal decree by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, published by the official SPA news agency on Monday.
The decree noted that Assaf, who held the position since 1996, has been replaced by Mohammed Aljadaan, the head of the Capital Market Authority which is charged with regulating the kingdoms stock market.
The move comes at a time while Riyadh is dealing with economic struggles brought on by a budget deficit of nearly $100 billion caused by a sharp slump in oil prices as well as Riyadh’s rising army expenditure, a large amount of which is being funneled into a military campaign against Yemen, where over 10,200 people have been killed and thousands more injured.
The Saudis have also been forced to introduce a series of austerity measures that include canceling of some bonuses offered to state employees and increasing of entry visa fees for residents and foreigners.