|King Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz|
But nothing of all that came about during a rare speech that the king of Saudi-Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz (86) held on Friday. Instead the king, who earlier this month banned all demonstrations after signs of unrest in the mainly Shiite Eastern province, only had praise for his security personel and country men.
´Dear brave men in all military sectors, especially your brothers the security personnel at the interior ministry, you are the shield of this homeland and the fist which strikes down anyone who dares threaten its security and stability. God bless you and all your good work,´ he said in his three-minute address.
And to all Saudis who did not answere an internet and Facebook call for mass protests on 11 March:
´I am so proud of you. Words are not enough to describe you. You are the safety valve of this nation and you struck at that which is wrong with the truth, and at treachery with loyalty.´
After his speech, state television announced a Santa Claus like series of presents with which the king apparently wanted to reward his subjects, while at the same time buying yet more of their loyalty. His generousness included the following welfare benefits:
- A monthly minimum wage of 3,000 riyals ($800) and two months' extra pay for government workers
- Extra grants for university students
- A monthly stipend of about $260 for the unemployed
- 500,000 housing units for low-income earners
- $4.3bn spending on medical facilities
All Saudi´s, male or female, young or old, lived long and happily afterwards, that goes without saying..