Top News: Sisi Defends Energy Prices Increase, Asks Egyptians to ‘Work With Him’

In a nationally televised speech, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi defended Monday his recent decisions to partially lift subsidies on fuel that caused a public outcry, calling them a necessary “bitter pill” to revive his nation’s ailing economy.


Sisi defends energy prices increase, asks Egyptians to ‘work with him’
In a nationally televised speech, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi defended Monday his recent decisions to partially lift subsidies on fuel that caused a public outcry, calling them a necessary “bitter pill” to revive his nation’s ailing economy. “When I speak about subsidies and the budget,” he said, “my aim is that you will work with me. I want street vendors and microbus drivers to work with me. This is not the role of the state alone, but it is our role for all of us.” In the half-hour long speech, Sisi went through figures for budget deficits and government debt to explain to the public the fuel price hikes. He defended the bold move, saying that other leaders have shied away from introducing such reforms in fear of public upheaval. In his speech, he also warned world powers that Islamist militants are ravaging the Middle East and pose a threat to everyone’s security. He also said that the Sinai could turn into a base for “terrorism,” destabilizing Egypt and the region. [Ahram Online, Mada Masr, AP, Aswat Masriya, 7/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Sisi: The state respects human rights | Egypt Independent, SIS, Ahram (Arabic)
  • PM, ministers discuss ramifications of price hikes | Egypt Independent
  • Sisi gives EGP 500,000 to ‘Long Live Egypt’ fund | Ahram Online, Egypt Independent
  • Mahlab donates to ‘Long Live Egypt’ fund | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Political parties urge president Sisi to amend parliamentary law | Aswat Masriya
  • Sisi: Projects be launched to improve living standards | SIS
  • PM: Urgent measures to control markets | SIS
  • Mahlab speaks with taxi drivers about fuel prices | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Mahlab to hold meeting on Brotherhood funds | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Conference party to announce electoral alliances next week | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Strong Egypt party says subsidy cuts are contrary to Sisi’s promises before taking office | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


Son of Muslim Brotherhood spokesman arrested
The son of leading Muslim Brotherhood member Mahmoud Ghozlan was arrested last Monday while filming his detained brother on his way to prison, said Giza security directorate in press statements. According to Al-Ahram, Yahia Mahmoud Ghozlan, 20, was found to have four mobile phones with uploaded footage and photos from brotherhood rallies as well recorded messages from his detained brother allegedly thanking the brotherhood’s leadership. Egyptian authorities issued an arrest warrant as well as travel ban for Mahmoud Ghozlan, the Muslim Brotherhood official spokesperson last year. The spokesperson, who is being accused of inciting violence on several occasions after the ousting of Mohamed Morsi, has not been arrested. [Ahram Online, Aswat Masriya, 7/8/2014]

Also of Interest:


Egypt’s net foreign reserves down $600 million in June due to absence of Gulf aid
Egypt’s net international foreign reserves fell by $600 million, recording $16.678 billion at the end of June, down from $17.284 billion in May. Foreign reserves are now the lowest since July 2013. Financial analyst at EFG Hermes Mohamed Abo Basha commented that the decline came because no financial aid was pledged to Egypt in the last month, whether in the form of grants or deposits. [DNE, 7/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Strike at Egypt’s largest bank enters second day | Ahram Online
  • Egypt to adopt international taxation policy to avoid double taxation: Finance minister | DNE
  • EGP 600m allocated for slum development in budget: Ministry of Planning | DNE
  • Beltone says Hermes shares percentage too little | Egypt Independent
  • Cabinet allocates EGP 1.4 billion for developing public transport | Aswat Masriya, SIS, Ahram (Arabic)


ECESR report: Over 5,000 social, economic and labor protests in 2013
Egypt witnessed 5,232 socio-economic protests in 2013, 82 percent of which were held before the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, according to a report prepared by the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). The report, released Monday, suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood protests held since July against Morsi’s ouster could have contributed to the decline in social, economic and labor protests in the second half of the year. The ECESR said that social, economic and labor protests and the reasons behind them were not given due attention and that generalization was exercised in defining them. The organization added in its report that at most times, protesters were either described as belonging to a certain political faction, or the protests altogether were seen as a sign of the “failure” of the then ruling regime. [DNE, 7/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt PM Mahlab attends NCW conference to fight violence against women | Ahram Online, DNE, SIS, Ahram (Arabic)
  • Age of smokers dropped to 10 years old: Egypt’s Minister | Ahram Online
  • Anti-FGM activists compromise in the face of cultural obstacles | DNE
  • Housing Ministry announces building thousands of united of “social housing” | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Cairo governor urges drivers compliance with new tariff | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Governor of Luxor: we will bring tourism projects to the south | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Ministers of housing and health emphasize plan for safe water | AMAY (Arabic)
  • Mufti emphasizes memory of tenth of Ramadan, unity | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)


Egypt arrests four over Alexandria bombing
Police forces arrested four suspects Monday over bomb blasts in a train station in Alexandria, the Ministry of Interior announced. The suspects are allegedly members of the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The interior ministry announced in its Monday statement that the arrested suspects were “young members of the Muslim Brotherhood who were trained by high profile leaders to attack police facilities and public transportations”. [DNE, Ahram (Arabic), 7/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Clashes between security forces and armed men north of Beni Suef | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Interior minister: police are working their hardest to provide security and stability to the country | Shorouk (Arabic)
  • Secretary of defense: military in the south is capable of protecting the homeland | Ahram (Arabic)


EU ambassador describes subsidy cuts as ‘very important step’
James Moran, head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, welcomed the recent decision taken by the Egyptian government to reduce subsidies on petroleum products, saying that “Egypt has begun its way towards the implementation of a plan for economic reform.” He described the decision to raise fuel prices as “a very important step and a rational and noble attempt” to restructure the Egyptian economy. Meanwhile, Egypt’s government received the backing of international credit rating agency Fitch Ratings on Tuesday in its recent price hike on state-subsidized fuels. Fitch Ratings announced that fuel price hikes are an important step toward reducing subsidies that contribute to Egypt’s substantial fiscal deficit. [DNE, 7/7/2014]

Egypt condemns Israeli raids on Gaza
The foreign ministry’s spokesperson Badr Abdel Atty said that Egypt condemns the Israeli air raids on Gaza on Sunday evening, which left dozens killed and wounded. He added that Egypt rejects all acts of violence that lead to losses in civilian lives from both sides and said that Egypt calls for restraint and an end to revenge attacks and collective punishment. [Egypt Independent, Ahram (Arabic), 7/7/2014]

Also of Interest:

  • Egypt’s Army Chief of Staff meets Libyan counterpart to discuss border security | DNE
  • Germany to lift travel warnings to Sharm al-Sheikh: German Embassy in Cairo | DNE, Egypt Independent, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Egyptian FM to start Arab tour | DNE
  • Government plans ‘donor countries’ conference before year’s end | DNE
  • Tamarod says terrorists should fight Israel instead | Egypt Independent
  • Finance and investment ministers return from UAE | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Egypt recovers antiquities from Denmark and France | EGYNews (Arabic)
  • Khartoum’s ambassador in Cairo: Bashir will visit Egypt soon | Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Foreign ministry condemns terrorism in Bahrain | Shorouk (Arabic), Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Shoukry speaks with Mauritanian foreign minister | Ahram Gateway (Arabic)
  • Shoukry on CNN: we reject foreign interference with Egypt’s judiciary | CNN, Ahram Gateway (Arabic)