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Sisi asks Egyptians to work 12 hour days to increase economic output

President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivers a speech at the 74th session of UN General Assembly in New York, United States on 24 September 2019. [Erçin Top - Anadolu Agency]
President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi delivers a speech at the 74th session of UN General Assembly in New York, United States on 24 September 2019. [Erçin Top - Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has told Egyptian citizens to start their day at 6am and work until 6pm to boost the economy.

At the opening of a furniture project in the city of Damietta, the president said this will help raise Egypt’s production and exports to the world and benefit the country.

“Is a man begins work at 6am and continues until 6pm that’s 12 hours. Let’s say he takes an hour lunch, that’s 11 hours, this is appropriate,” Al-Sisi said.

This is not the first time Al-Sisi has called on the Egyptian people to work harder to save the country. Two years he was mocked online after calling on citizens to donate their spare change to charitable projects in an attempt to boost the country’s economy.

“Can’t we take change, say 50 pence, and put it in an account to fund such housing projects?” he asked in relation to a housing project in Alexandria funded by businessmen and donations.

The president has also called on Egyptians to lose weight in order to save money, has said that Egyptians must take better care of themselves and called on TV shows not to allow overweight presenters and guests to appear on air.

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Al-Sisi was accused of fat shaming and overlooking the fact that the price of fruit and vegetables skyrocketed after the government’s economic reforms slashed food subsidies.

In 2017 demonstrations broke out across the country as the price of oil, sugar and bread became unaffordable to Egyptians relying on the country’s ration system.

After the protests a general in the Egyptian security services Mohamed Mansour said it was “rude” to complain about rising prices and food shortages and asked Egyptians to “sacrifice their dinner” for the sake of their country.

Since 2016 Egyptian authorities have implemented a severe austerity programme in exchange for an IMF loan. Ordinary Egyptians have struggled to meet the rising costs of fuel and electricity.

The poverty level in the country is over 30 per cent and the World Bank recently released a report to say 60 per cent of the country is either poor or vulnerable.

Attempts to place the blame on citizens comes as whistleblower Mohamed Ali revealed that Al-Sisi and his inner circle were spending millions on luxury palaces whilst citizens were suffering.

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