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Bread Riots: Egypt witnesses protests as subsidies changed

Egyptians took to the streets yesterday to protest against bread prices [hallaboutafrica/Twitter]
Egyptians took to the streets yesterday to protest against bread prices [hallaboutafrica/Twitter]

Hundreds of Egyptians took to the streets yesterday to protest against changed to the distribution of subsidise on bread, police reported.

Protests were reported yesterday in the provinces of Alexandria, Kafr El-Sheikh, Minya and Assiut, with a small demonstration also taking place in the capital Cairo, according to anonymous officials.

Read: Egypt’s budget deficit hits $1bn

The protests follow a decision by a supply ministry to limit the number of subsidised loaves bakeries can sell to people who do not have digital cards – a new distribution system that was introduced in 2014, Supply Minister Ali Al-Meselhy explained.

The new system replaces paper documents to allow stricter state control and oversight to ensure no subsidised flour is stolen by bakeries.

“We are suffering from high prices. We have nothing left to live on but bread and now the government wants to deprive us of it”

Samia Darwish, a 50-year-old homemaker from Alexandria told Reuters.

Al-Meselhy told reporters at a press conference that the ministry had limited the number of loaves distributed by accredited bakeries to non-digital card holders at 500.

Those who are still using paper documents for their subsidised bread will be issued with digital cards within a week.

The minister further promised that citizens who had not receive their bread yesterday would have the problem resolved within the next 48 hours.

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