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Monday, 2 July 2018

El Sisi urges patience as economic reforms begin to show results

El Sisi urges patience as economic reforms begin to show results: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi made his administration’s economic reform program the highlight of his televised speech on Saturday, which marked the fifth anniversary of the 30 June protests that ousted his Ikhwan-backed predecessor. He noted that while the reforms are tough, they are working: He cited GDP growth rising to over the 5% mark from around 2% before 2013, adding that Egypt is on track to achieve growth levels of 7% in the next few years. He also noted that FX reserves jumped to USD 44 bn from USD 15 bn in 2013. El Sisi stressed that the uprising five years ago sought to solve three major issues facing Egypt and the region in the wake of the Arab Spring: A security vacuum, the proliferation of terror groups, and a collapsed economy. The nation is on the right track on all three fronts, he said.

Coverage of El Sisi’s speech topped headlines on Egypt in the foreign press. Reuters is taking note of an online campaign calling for El Sisi to resign. The Associated Press’ coverage, which was widely picked up, emphasized the impact of the subsidies cuts and other reform measures on the average Egyptian. The newswire also noted that an Egyptian court on Saturday postponed the verdicts for hundreds of defendants detained for their involvement in a 2013 Rabaa sit-ins. Meanwhile, the GCC press is celebrating the anniversary: Gulf News is noting that five years since the events of June 2013, Egypt has re-emerged from the shadow of he Ikhwan.

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