• Egypt. 2 years after the loan agreement: What the IMF failed to anticipate | MadaMasr

    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/11/22/feature/economy/2-years-after-the-loan-agreement-what-the-imf-failed-to-anticipate

    On November 11, 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Egyptian government finalized a US$12 billion loan agreement tied to an economic reform plan that included a series of austerity measures and the liberalization of the Egyptian pound.

    At the time, Egypt was facing a shortage in foreign currency reserves, and both the IMF and the Egyptian authorities made optimistic forecasts about the future of the Egyptian economy under the new economic program.

    Two years later, the crisis in foreign currency reserves has largely been alleviated and the IMF’s growth targets appear to be on track. Yet those achievements have been offset by soaring rates of inflation and foreign debt, along with the plummeting purchasing power of the local currency. Meanwhile, fuel subsidies, which were meant to be reduced to alleviate the government budget — a specific goal of the economic program — have instead increased as a result of the devaluation of the pound.

    A number of these unanticipated challenges now facing the Egyptian economy are highlighted in a new report by the investment bank Shuaa Capital, which was issued to its clients several days ago and of which Mada Masr has obtained a copy.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/738405 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Egypt : ‘We will kill the men and children and leave you to live the rest of your lives in misery’ | MadaMasr
    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/11/06/feature/politics/we-will-kill-the-men-and-children-and-leave-you-to-live-the-rest-of-your-l

    Safwat Shehata, a man in his 40s from Upper Egypt’s Minya Governorate, stands outside the entrance of the emergency room at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital on the outskirts of Cairo. Inside, four of his relatives are receiving treatment for injuries sustained in Friday’s militant attack, in which gunmen ambushed Coptic Christians returning from a trip to the St. Samuel Monastery in Minya.

    The assailants injured at least 20 people in the attack and killed seven more. Six of those killed were Shehata’s relatives, ranging in age from 12 to 55 years old.

    At first, Safwat was unaware that his relatives were killed and injured in the attack — he did not even know they were visiting the monastery that day. “I saw news of the attack on the internet and I scrolled through the pictures on social media. I thought that the casualties were from [the governorate of] Sohag. I didn’t know that my cousins and their families were going on that day,” he says.

    Seeing images of bodies covered in blood, Safwat asked God to have mercy on their souls. He kept monitoring news of the attack on Facebook until he received a call from a relative informing him that his cousin-in-law, Youssef Shehata, and five members of his family were dead.

    “You must go and save the wounded in Cairo,” the relative told Safwat between cries. “The bodies are being buried here.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/734205 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Egypt
    Critics blast amendments to Journalists Syndicate law drafted behind closed doors | MadaMasr
    https://madamasr.com/en/2018/11/01/feature/politics/critics-blast-draft-amendments-to-journalists-syndicate-law

    Proposed amendments to the law governing Egypt’s Journalists Syndicate have come under fire for bypassing normal procedural channels and being rushed through without input from syndicate members. Critics claim the amendments are being imposed by state authorities in an effort to control the drafting process and weaken the syndicate.

    The drafts — the contents or details of which have yet to be published — come in the wake of Parliament’s approval of three controversial press regulatory laws over the summer that grant government authorities far-reaching powers to further clamp down on the media and restrict press freedoms.

    Currently, two separate draft amendments to the Journalists Syndicate law (Law 76/1970) are being prepared and both are reportedly close to being finalized, but neither one has included the involvement of the syndicate’s rank and file in the drafting process.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/732740 via Nouvelles d’Orient