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Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Last Night’s Talk Shows: INflation, import rules and the personal status act

Surprising no-one, the economy dominated the airwaves last night following the release of fresh inflation figures showing that prices accelerated in April at their fastest rate in almost three years.

Keep calm and carry on was the message delivered by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi last night, who called in to Salet Al Tahrir's Azza Mostafa (watch, runtime: 23:17) to discuss the national economic situation, among other things. The president sought to assuage the public’s fears on the economy, telling Mostafa that the conflict in Ukraine has not yet caused any shortages in Egypt. “We do acknowledge a rise in prices, but the state is trying to control the market until the end of the year and help it recover in a short period,” he said.

Industry to receive boost as import rules eased: The president’s appearance came on the same day he directed the government and the central bank to ease up on the new trade finance rules that require importers to use letters of credit, and allow businesses to import raw materials and production inputs using documentary collection. The subject got a lot of attention on last night’s shows, which we cover in detail in the news well, above.

Also on the economy front: El Hadidi looked at what is driving the surging cost of food (watch, runtime: 5:58).

ALSO FROM EL SISI- The president discussed the Personal Status Act and urged the government, lawmakers, and Al Azhar to draft a balanced and fair legislation as soon as possible. Controversial amendments to a previous bill, which critics argued attempted to take women’s rights and legal protections, was shelved by the House last year after backlash. El Sisi has asked the head of the Cairo Court of Appeal to set up a committee to help draft the bill.

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