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Thursday, 12 May 2022

Plenty of policy talk on the airwave last night + killing of veteran Al Jazeera journalist in Palestine gets heavy coverage

Leading airwaves on the airwaves last night: The shooting of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, apparently by Israeli forces, as they raided a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin dominated airwaves, with wide condemnation and outrage getting coverage from most talk shows at home, including Yahduth Fi Masr (watch, runtime: 4:37), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 2:11), Ala’ Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 1:13), Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 3:09) and others.

The latest deadly attack in Sinai which killed five troops earlier yesterday also led airwaves at home, with Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 0:30) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:25) covering the fatal attack.

Otherwise, it was a policy-heavy evening:

ACT SMART- Economist and former deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El Din is calling on the government to hold an economic dialogue, alongside the planned national dialogue, as he stressed to Ala Mas’ouleety Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime: 50:38) the importance of the government holding a conversation with the business community to remove constraints.

Qalaa Holdings Chairman Ahmed Heikal shared his policy prescriptions for getting us out of the economic crisis on Yahduth Fi Misr. “There is no simple fix for this crisis,” he told show host Sherif Amer last night (watch, runtime: 4:23). We have a problem, being a big importer of oil with 100 mn oil barrels annually and a net food importer, with our basket including wheat and production inputs.

What’s the solution? Slashing imports, boosting our exports, and finding a local alternative to imported production inputs is key to help Egypt during the crisis, Heikal noted (watch, runtime: 3:45). Egypt should use untapped assets, which include tens of shuttered factories, production lines and others, he said. Higher revenues for the Suez Canal, a reviving tourism and higher remittances from Egyptians abroad would also ease the pressure on the FX, he said.

Everyone is going to feel the pain: No-one will escape the impact of the current wave of global inflation, Heikal said, predicting that the crisis will create a new global map of economic relations in the coming years.

Let’s delay any austerity policy for four months at the very least, Bahaa El Din said “until conditions are straightened out” and efforts in investments, exports and production bear fruit. “This is not the period where we worry about the debt-to-GDP ratio and lowering it to 75% like [what was] addressed to the parliament. There are other priorities, mainly ensuring that there are no shortages of basic needs,” he said. Bahaa El Din has been a regular guest on talk shows this week, speaking on the global economic crisis and what Egypt could do to cushion the blow.

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