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Monday, 15 August 2022

Last Night’s Talk Shows: Tragedy in Imbaba + New cabinet members sworn in

The fire at the Abu Sefein church in Imbaba dominated coverage on the airwaves last night. The incident and its aftermath got coverage from El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 2:19 | 7:19), who spoke with Social Solidarity Minister Nevine El Qabbaj and Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar. Most of the injured are currently in a stable condition, with only one critical case at the moment, Abdel Ghaffar said. The tragic incident also got extensive coverage from Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 1:28:39), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:02) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:15 | 5:06).

We officially have a new cabinet: Thirteen new cabinet ministers were sworn into office yesterday by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to an Ittihadiya statement, a day after the House of Representatives approved a cabinet shakeup in a previously unscheduled session called by the president. The news got coverage from Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 1:47) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 4:54).

ALSO- The socialists got lots of air time last night after this weekend’s surprise cabinet shuffle. The question of the evening:

Could the new public enterprises minister u-turn on the liquidation of El Nasr Coke? Public Enterprises Minister Mahmoud Esmat has postponed a Metallurgical Industries Holding (MIH) general assembly meeting that was due today to discuss plans to liquidate the financially-stricken El Nasr Coke and Chemicals, Mostafa Bakry told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 10:23). Bakry, a perennial opponent of closing loss-making state-owned enterprises, described the decision as a “good sign” about the new minister, who was officially sworn into his position yesterday, replacing Hisham Tawfik.

Tawfik’s plans to liquidate debt-ridden state companies have received a lot of pushback from leftist MPs, who argued that some of the companies’ financials do not warrant liquidation. El Nasr Coke has generated EGP 114 mn in income over the past year, Bakry claimed, and it also receives offers from European countries for 1 mn tons of exports annually, he added.

POLICY WATCH- Esmat takes the reins at the Public Enterprises Ministry at a critical time when the government is putting together a radical privatization strategy that it hopes will see private enterprise double its share of the economy over the next three years. The Madbouly government is aiming to lure USD 40 bn in investment over the next four years by selling stakes in state-owned companies, and as such, policy continuity at the ministry will be important to persuading more foreign companies to invest in Egypt.

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