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Sharif Isma’il, formerly Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, has been given the post of Prime Minister by President ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi and tasked with putting together a new cabinet within a week.
Although Mr Isma’il has only been in office since July 2013, his rise to Prime Minister has come on the back of a relatively successful two-year stint as oil minister, having overseen the phasing out of fuel subsidies and the attempted resuscitation of the oil and gas sector.
Under his stewardship and in an effort to trim the widening budget deficit, the government last July slashed subsidies on gas and oil products. Energy subsidies had stood at 7% of GDP and 22% of total government spending.
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