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Egypt has to pay $211.6m in rent to army per year, says president

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Brussels, Belgium on February 16, 2022 [EU Council/Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Brussels, Belgium on February 16, 2022 [EU Council/Anadolu Agency]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has sparked controversy on social media after he announced yesterday that the military was asking the government for four billion Egyptian pounds ($211.6 million) annually in rent for the government district in the New Administrative Capital located east of Cairo.

Al-Sisi stressed that it was "important and a top priority to continue the work in the New Administrative Capital, despite the high costs this project incurs."

While Al-Sisi has repeatedly called on citizens to reduce their daily consumption amid the economic crisis, critics have pointed out that the government is asking for "something they do not do themselves."

During his rule, former army chief Al-Sisi has continually worked to protect the military, allowing army backed businesses in the country to flourish.

READ: Egypt's Sisi grants armed forces immunity from prosecution

In 2018 the Egyptian parliament passed a bill granting immunity to army leaders and exempting them from prosecution for acts carried out in the period following the 2013 coup. This has since been extended to include  immunity to all members of the country's armed forces.

In 2017 Al-Sisi was mocked online for asking citizens to donate their spare change to charitable projects.

He has also asked Egyptians to lose weight to save money after the price of fruit and vegetables skyrocketed after the government's economic reforms slashed food subsidies.

In 2019 the president asked Egyptians to work 12 hour days to increase economic output.

Earlier this year, he suggested that Egyptians eat leaves from trees just as the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in an effort to placate rising unrest as a result of increased poverty and a spike in prices.

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