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By reducing subsidies on fuel and electricity, President Sisi is taking a huge political risk. But the measure is necessary to revive Egypt’s upstream sector.
Egypt’s new President ‘Abd al Fattah al-Sisi broke one of the region’s biggest political taboos last weekend, when the fuel price increases he had decreed came into effect.
The bold move sparked outrage in Egypt, where a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, and subsidies on energy and basic foodstuffs are regarded as an economic necessity by large sections of society.
Angry scenes played out on Egypt’s streets, as passengers baulked at paying higher fares for bus and taxi rides, and drivers cursed the president many had voted into office only a month ago. The increase in transportation costs is reportedly already being passed on to food prices, and inflation is widely predicted to soar.
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