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Thursday, 31 October 2019

Last night’s talk shows for Wednesday, 31 October 2019

The economy got a fair share of airtime last night, but other topics also kept the talking heads busy. Among the highlights were newly-released central bank figures and the weekly cabinet meeting, as well as the “train ticket incident” which has featured heavily on the talk shows this week.

External debt: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal took note of (watch, runtime: 1:26). Assal also reported external debt figures the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) recently released (watch, runtime: 0:53). Planning Minister Hala El Said announced news of aggregated figures showing that the CBE made USD 34 bn in foreign loan repayments since the start of the economic reform program.

In FY2018-2019, the central bank’s total repayments came at USD 13.38. Of this figure, USD 3.23 were in interest and USD 10.15 in principal, according to calculations several news outlets made from the CBE’s database. We noted earlier this month that foreign debt stood at USD 108.7 bn at the end of the fiscal year.

The weekly cabinet meeting was also on Assal’s radar: The highlight of this week’s cabinet meeting was Planning Minister Hala El Said’s official announcement that the economy grew 5.6% in 1Q2019-2020. El Said made the news public on Monday in a televised interview with Sky News Arabia. We have more on the meeting in this morning's Speed Round, below.

Monday’s train incident victim speaks to Sherif Amer: Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer spoke to Ahmed Samir, the man who survived after having reportedly been forced to jump from a moving train on Monday. Samir was injured and his colleague Mohamed Eid killed after the train conductor demanded they jump for not having purchased tickets. The two men, according to Samir, are not street vendors as some media outlets have portrayed. They specialize in a form of handicraft, and were returning home to Cairo from a trip to Alexandria in which they’d planned to do business (watch: part one,runtime: 0:57) and (part two, runtime: 7:54).

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