Surprising lack of coverage on the inflation results
It was a very mixed and dreary night on the airwaves, folks, with topics ranging from sports, to further coverage of the arrest of the Customs Authority. Surprisingly enough, the least discussed topic was the inflation report. Not even Hona Al Asema touched on it.
Annual headline inflation on track to rise next month: Former Banque Misr deputy chairman Sahar El Damaty said annual headline inflation, which crept up on the back of the subsidy cuts, is expected to increase again next month as new electricity prices kicked in the beginning of the month. She was optimistic, however, telling Yahduth fi Masr that she expects the rate to taper off in the medium term, before declining towards the end of the year (watch, runtime: 4:09).
On the arrest of Customs Authority head Gamal Abdel Azim, Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal held a roundtable discussion with former deputy interior minister for public funds Mohsen El Yamani, House Economics Committee member Rep. Amr El Gohary and Bawabet El Fagr editor Mostafa Thabet to discuss corruption. El Yamani said corruption in Egypt has always been significant, but now anti-corruption efforts are exposing what had long been kept under wraps. He also believes that what has been exposed so far is only the tip of the iceberg (watch, runtime: 5:47). El Gohary said corruption has been a hurdle in attracting foreign direct investors whose interest had been piqued by the economic reform program (watch, runtime: 4:09).
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s televised ceremony honoring Egypt’s medal winners at the 2018 Mediterranean Games preoccupied the talking heads last night.Hisham Nasr, who headed Egypt’s delegation to the games, hailed the ceremony, saying it demonstrates an interest to develop sports other than football. He urged the Sports Ministry and the Olympic Committee to work on providing better support and attention to these athletes ahead of 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (watch, runtime: 6:51). Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal said Egypt deserves better than fifth place in Mediterranean games and called on policymakers to push for better results in international competitions (watch, runtime: 2:22). Al Hayah fi Masr’s Kamal Mady and Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer also covered the event (watch, runtime: 2:17 and watch, runtime: 2:34 ).
The cure for the common cold is … the national anthem? Lamees El Hadidi’s stand-in on Hona El Asema, Dina Zahra, focused her episode on Health Minister Hala Zayed’s order to broadcast the national anthem and hippocratic oath in public hospitals every morning. Zahra lambasted the move, which Zayed said would foster a sense of national identity, saying if the ministry has enough money to set up speakers for the national anthem to be played, then “there is a problem with its priorities.” She also dismissed the notion that the patients’ national identity would be stimulated by a daily dose of the national anthem (watch, runtime: 2:04).
Zahra got into a heated argument with Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed,who vehemently defended the decision, saying it is part of a drive to improve staff morale and the work environment. He also noted that the decision is among several others designed to improve the conditions for public hospital doctors, including ensuring they are protected against assault (watch, runtime: 7:40). The real story here is that it took this long for us to protect state doctors from assault.
Elsewhere: The bodies of three murdered children in the Mariotiya district got some attention by Yahtuth fi Masr (watch, runtime: 5:00).