Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1398, (21 - 27 June 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1398, (21 - 27 June 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Bitter pill

Rise in the price of fuel

Perhaps the most important issue that engaged the people and the press this week was the rise in the price of fuel, a step that will lead to an increase in the price of most goods and services.

Abbas Al-Tarabili wrote that ever since 1977, not a single ruler of Egypt has been brave enough to reduce subsidies. However, when the problem aggravated, that step was a must and President Al-Sisi had to take it with courage.

But, Al-Tarabili added, the problem is the time needed to implement the economic reform program. People started to complain and question why this generation should shoulder all the burdens of reform.

“But we still hope that the new government will adopt an austerity program that will start by reducing its spending by 50%. People will accept economic reform measures if the government sticks to a real austerity program,” he wrote in the daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Sahar Al-Gaara sympathised with the Egyptian citizen who lives below the poverty line and who fails to understand that even after abiding by IMF conditions, the government is committed to lifting subsidies on fuel and oil products.

“The simple citizen is not knowledgeable enough to understand complicated economic processes. However, he can still see that government spending has not been reduced and that the salaries and pensions of the ministers have been recently raised. Meanwhile, his meagre salary is still the same,” Al-Gaara wrote in the daily Al-Watan.

Thus, she called on the government to consider raising the salaries of millions of families whose income is between LE1,000 and LE2,000.

She also called on the government to look for those who do not obey the law and evade paying their taxes. They should either follow the law or be questioned.  

Karam Gabr wrote that no one claimed that the recent lifting of subsidies was a good thing, and that it was an extremely bitter pill to swallow that will cause pain to various sectors in society. However, there is no alternative to saving the country from collapse.

If the unrest, demonstrations and disorder that happened in Egypt ever since 25 January happened in another country, Gabr elaborated, it would not have been able to stand on its feet anew.

“Everyone is talking about the soaring prices. No one saw the protective measures taken to ease the impact like raising salaries and pensions, fixing the price of subsidised bread at five piasters, keeping subsidies on goods up to LE200 for every family of four, and others,” he wrote in the daily Al-Akhbar.

But, Gabr added, the government should be very strict in stopping those who want to make use of the crisis and make sure that the reform plan will stay on track and that people will start to feel the results of their patience and endurance.

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By Doaa Al-Adl, Al-Masry Al-Youm

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