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On oil, Saudi Arabia admits defeat

By Gwynne Dyer      

After two years of trying to squeeze out U.S. shale oil, it’s ready cut production.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, pictured in 2013. A royal decree late last month announced that Saudi government ministers’ salaries would be cut by 20 per cent. US Department of Defense photograph by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

LONDON, U.K.—“God be with the citizens, we are back to the time of poverty,” wrote Saudi Arabian Twitter user Rayan al-Shamri last week. That’s a bit strong, but he and his fellow citizens are certainly no longer living in the time of plenty. Saudi Arabia is cutting back on all fronts. The wages of government employees accounted for almost half the Saudi Arabian government’s spending last year: about $120 billion. And the country’s budget deficit, due to the

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