Suez Canal controversy was everywhere on the talk shows
No canals for sale here: The nation’s talking heads spoke in unison last night carrying the government’s message about the proposed Suez Canal fund, which has generated controversy among MPs and on social media about the privatization of assets owned by the Suez Canal Authority. The government yesterday denied accusations from some lawmakers that the fund will enable the sale of assets by the back door while House Speaker Hanafi Gebali sought to dampen rumors that the amendments will pave the way for the sale of the canal itself. More on this in Legislation Watch, above.
Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 13:04), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime:7:52) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 5:03) all covered the story. Yahduth Fi Masr’s Sherif Amer talked to former SCA boss Mohab Mamish (watch, runtime: 4:30) and Khaled Abu Bakr, an advisor to the SCA chairman, appeared on Ala Mas’ouleety to deny the claims (watch, runtime: 5:40).
The expat car import scheme is yet to take off: In the first five weeks since its launch, around 4k expats have submitted requests to import vehicles under the government scheme, which will likely net the state just USD 62 mn, Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi said (watch, runtime: 3:13). The government was originally hoping to draw USD 2.5 bn in FX from the scheme, which expires at the end of February.
“These low numbers are an indication that this initiative has issues,” El Hadidi said, blaming the fluctuating EGP/USD exchange rate and the timing of the initiative for the slow demand.
ELSEWHERE ON THE AIRWAVES- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s participation in the Baghdad II gathering in Jordan yesterday got attention from Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 9:20) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 4:05). More on that in Diplomacy, below.