Amer interviews Amr El Garhy; Cabinet fending off reports on cabinet shuffle; Aboutrika, Safwan Thabet labelled terrorists by association
Lamees El Hadidy was shocked that Juhayna chairman Safwan Thabet, football great Mohamed Aboutrika and Business News publisher Mostafa Sakr have been placed on a terror list as allegedly known associates of the Ikhwan, suggesting the move was extreme (watch; runtime: 3:34). Aly El Dash, a lawyer for Thabet, said his client was surprised by the decision. “There has been no investigation since the judiciary froze Thabet’s assets in 2014,” he said (watch, runtime: 4:14). Aboutrika’s lawyer, Mohamed Osman, said his client had not been afforded the opportunity to answer the charges (watch; runtime: 3:54). We have more on the case in Speed Round, below.
Elsewhere last night, Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer featured an interview with Finance Minister Amr El Garhy recorded before he left for the eurobond roadshow. The minister used the time in part to explain in layman’s terms why international bonds are a useful tool to finance the budget deficit.
Responding to a question on whether the current government is following the footsteps of Mubarak-era cabinets tapped to lead economic change, El Garhy said that the Ismail government doesn’t delay “tough decisions for fear of losing popularity.” On the budget deficit, El Garhy said “if we succeeded in reducing the budget deficit to 10% and below by 2020, the government will be able to redirect spending to key priorities including health and education.”
El Garhy also promised the government will ensure the nation’s poor are protected from the impact of subsidy cuts, including the rising price of electricity. The minister (with whom we sympathize for having to answer the same question again and again and again) also had to offer his stock defense of the float of the EGP.
El Garhy’s cabinet colleague Dalia Khorshid spoke with Lamees from the World Economic Forum in Davos. The investment minister said the Egyptian delegation will focus selling Egypt’s economic reform story (watch; runtime: 2:14).
Kol Youm’s Amr Adib looked into Egypt’s export figures and how to improve them. Industry and Trade Ministry spokesman Yasser Gaber spoke at length with about the ministry’s effort to grow trade with Africa, which Egypt has designated a priority market for exports (watch, runtime: 5:03).
Adib also compared prices in private supermarkets with those at military-owned outlets (watch: runtime: 12:09).
Is Education Minister Hilali El Sherbiny about to exit stage right? Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan called in to Al Hayah Al Youm to say that Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s meeting with El Sherbiny and other ministry staff members doesn’t necessarily mean he’s about to lose his job in the expected cabinet shuffle (watch, runtime: 3:33). Cabinet had issued a statement earlier in the day explaining that the meeting was to discuss policy.