President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Egyptians to bear the new challenges of the recent subsidy cuts from the government in a raft of tough economic reforms.
During a group Iftar (breaking fast) Sisi threw a speech saying that the the country won’t get out of this economic dilemma unless all Egyptians have united to confront the challenges together; “We must all suffer and struggle to have a stronger country in the end,” he said.
He continued “We, as Egyptians, have to pay the price together, but we are still paying for some of the cheapest prices in the world provided by countries to their citizens, including in energy, fuel and commodity prices”.
Sisi shed light on the subsidized services and commodities provided by the country and their increasing cost, which weighs badly on the economic situation; he said that every Egyptian citizen receives subsidized bread reaching LE 400 to LE 500 monthly and the state provides a LE 260 monthly subsidy for the butane cylinders, if citizens purchased two.
The president added that the country also provides a subsidy of LE 1000 pounds per month for each Egyptian family. “Every four members of a family receive a subsidy worth LE 200 on the ration card per month,” he said.
He also revealed the cost of pensions in 2023 will exceed LE 300 billion and the debt service this year jumped to LE 540 billion.
The president said that there are about 3 million citizens working in the Egyptian state during the past four years in national projects in different provinces; “There are 3 million citizens changing the image of Egypt,” he proclaimed.
Sisi added that the subsidy offered by the country is on the rise every year and no country can ask for external subsidy from other countries, because there is none will spend money on your country.
“The state wishes to have a better education and health sector, but our resources cannot afford the cost,” he added.
Sisi stated he is solely responsible for all the tough economic decisions that has been made in the country in the recent years.
“If anyone can manage these economic woes with another strategy, please come and bear the whole responsibility,” he said.
The president explained that the economic challenges that are facing the Egyptian state are not a new outcome, but have accumulated since more than 50 years ago, pointing out that they could have been resolved much earlier in 1977.
Sisi stressed on the pivotal role of media, intellectuals and politicians in shaping social awareness.
Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker announced on Tuesday an increase in electricity prices effective July with a rise of an average of 26 percent; last month the Egyptian government has raised the price of drinking water to 46.5 percent.