Syrian President Bashar Assad has announced a 25 percent salary increase for public sector workers. The salary increase was accompanied by a large hike in the price of previously subsidized diesel. A gallon of diesel, which middle class Syrians use for heating, has shot up from 28 pounds (61 cents) to 95 pounds ($2.08). In March, Syria raised gasoline prices by 10 percent. The salary increase is the fifth since Assad became president eight years ago. State-run news agency SANA said it will take effect May 1.