August 1, 2019

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi burst out laughing, taunting the difficult economic climate and societal deterioration in Egypt at an annual youth conference held earlier this week.

“If people in Egypt had rejected economic reforms we would have held early presidential elections,” said al-Sisi at the 7th Youth Conference in Egypt on Wednesday.

On Tuesday al-Sisi opened the conference at the New Administrative Capital, stressing that Egypt would not deviate from the dream of a promising future.

On May 22 2019 the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced the rise of the country’s total domestic debt by 20.25 per cent year-on-year to EGP 4.108 trillion at the end of December. The country’s external debt grew 16.6 percent year-on-year to about $96.6 billion (EGP 1.6 trillion).

The World Bank also said in early May that about 60 per cent of Egypt’s population is either poor or vulnerable. It said that economic reforms affected the middle class, which faces a rising cost of living as a result of reforms.

The Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) revealed in a press conference on Monday that the poverty rate in the country has hit 32.5 per cent, compared to 27.8 per cent in July 2016.

Egypt, as agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2016, implemented several austerity measures, including the slashing of fuel and electricity subsidies, as well as other services, and made the decision to float the pound.

On November 3 2016 Egypt liberalised the currency exchange rate to raise the price of the dollar to about EGP 16.53 from EGP 8.88. As a result of these measures inflation in Egypt rose to unprecedented levels not seen in decades, eroding the real income of citizens.