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Egypt denies lifting bread subsidies

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]

Egypt yesterday denied reports that the government will lift bread subsidies in response to International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions for loans which Cairo has obtained.

The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade denied the reports, stressing that it is committed to maintaining the bread subsidy points system where one loaf of bread is sold at five piastres (less than one cent).

Since the start of the incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's first tenure in May 2014, Egypt has embarked on a multi-sectoral nation-wide reform programme in an attempt to revive an economy that battered by political upheaval after the 2011 revolution and to ease a US dollar shortage that has crippled import activity and hampered recovery.

READ: Egyptians in Sinai queue for bread, not ballots

In November 2015, Egypt obtained a three-year $12 billion IMF loan, which aimed at reviving the country's struggling economy, bringing down public debt and controlling inflation while seeking to protect the poor. Since then, energy subsidies were cut, taxes increased, the Egyptian pound was allowed to float, and a set of laws was introduced to facilitate business.

Constitutional proposals could allow Sisi to stay in power till 2034 – Cartoon [Mohammad Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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