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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

GERD talks, domestic consumption top stories on talk shows

The big news of the night: More details of the Madbouly government’s plans to encourage consumer spending. The breakdown of GERD negotiations the schools “expenses crisis” also got attention from the nation’s talking heads.

Finance Minister Mohamed Maait had a busy post-work schedule last night, stopping by Al Kahera Alaan (watch, runtime: 23:42) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 36:43) for extended interviews to offer new details on the government’s new measures to boost consumption and awaken the country from its demand slump.

What did we learn?

  • The government will spend EGP 10-12 bn subsidizing discounts on goods for ration card holders. This, he said, would stimulate EGP 100 bn worth of consumer spending.
  • Discounts of around 15-25% will be offered on a range of goods, from manufacturers directly as well as at various points along commercial supply chains. Which goods will be eligible for discounts remains unclear.
  • The initiative will run for three months and will be launched within three to four weeks.
  • There were no new details on how the Finance Ministry’s proposed EGP 2 bn holding fund will operate.

GERD talks end without agreement: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was also doing the rounds last night, discussing the breakdown in talks over the future of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) with El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 7:01) and Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 6:21). Shoukry said that the UN Security Council is monitoring the talks, hinting that it may step in to arbitrate. Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 9:21) and Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 21:04) both spoke with Alaa Al Zawahiri, a member of Egypt’s technical team, who said that the teams will now present their final reports to the African Union, which in turn is expected to propose solutions for the crisis. Adib also spoke with Irrigation Ministry spokesman Mohamed El Sebaei to discuss the matter (watch, runtime: 5:21). We have more on this in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

CPA intervenes on private schools, undisclosed prices: El Hadidi spoke with Ahmed Samir Farag, the acting head of the Consumer Protection Agency, to discuss what they termed the “expenses crisis” at private schools, in which some schools are charging fees many parents consider exorbitant. He said that he had reached out to the Education Ministry to address the issue, as it falls under their jurisdiction. Farag also noted that the agency last week announced that it will fine companies that don’t publicly disclose the prices of their products (watch, runtime: 10:12).

Egyptians abroad: El Hosary spoke with Immigration Minister Nabila Makram Ebeid who discussed repatriating Egyptian students still stranded abroad, as well as the mechanism for Egyptians abroad to vote in the upcoming Senate elections (watch, runtime: 20:13).

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