Fri, 23 May 2008
Presidential spokesman Andi Mallarangeng said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was ready to lose popularity over his plan to raise subsidized fuel prices to preserve the economy.

"The president realizes that raising fuel prices carries a political risk. He is risking his career and popularity in order to save the nation's economy. That's what's most important to him," Andi told University of Indonesia's Student Committee representatives at the Presidential Palace on Friday.

The student body's suggestions were well-received, he said, adding the two parties had discussed the government's fuel cost plan and related cash-transfer program.

Andi said the President would deliver the official announcement once the program is finalized.

"The respective cabinet ministers have sent in their reports related to the cash-transfer program. There needs to be a couple of follow-up meetings before an official policy is adopted," he said. (*)



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