Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday dismissed rumours that the Suez Canal would be sold for $1 trillion as a "lie".
"The war of terror is not over yet and it will not end as it is now represented in the abnormal volume of rumours, lies and fabrications, the latest of which was about the Suez Canal," Al-Sisi said during a ceremony held in the Ismailia governorate for the inspection of the equipment used in the Sinai development and reconstruction process.
"I know that the Egyptians are paying attention to this. Rumour had it that the Suez Canal would be sold … for a trillion [US] dollars. Regardless of the figure, I want to say that this is an attempt to obstruct you," he added.
"Over the previous years, development processes did not take place due to their high cost. The infrastructure, including a network of roads and power stations over an area of 60,000 kilometres, requires a very high cost. Therefore, the development process was hindered."
In May last year, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly outlined the government's plans to privatise state-owned assets and increase the private sector's role in the economy.
While earlier this month it was announced that 32 companies would be privatised in order to comply with the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and avoid an acute economic crisis.
The aim of the plan is to reduce public debt and the burden on the Egyptian state.
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