Sisi calls on Egyptians to endure challenges on back of fresh subsidy cuts
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday called on Egyptians to endure a raft of tough economic reforms introduced by the government، speaking the same day the government increased electricity prices.
"All challenges and difficulties can be easy if Egyptians endure the conditions the Egyptian state is passing through،" El-Sisi was quoted as saying
"We have to pay the price together،" he added، speaking during an iftar gathering.
El-Sisi's remarks came hours after the government introduced new cuts to electricity subsidies، pushing up prices by an average of around 26 percent from July.
The price hikes are the latest in a series of painful economic reforms aimed at stabilising an economy that has struggled since the 2011 uprising، which include fuel and electricity subsidy cuts، imposing a value-added tax، and a currency flotation.
While Egyptians have been hit hard by the austerity measures، El-Sisi said he was adamant about not deferring necessary reforms in order to improve the country's battered economy، calling on Egyptians to understand.
El-Sisi said that the government spends a total subsidy bill of EGP 332 billion، which covers fuel، food and energy subsidies. He added that every family is offered an average of EGP 1،000 in subsidies every month.
El-Sisi، who was sworn in for a second term earlier this month after a landslide victory in a March election، said his first term offered job opportunities to 3 million people.
US official eyes Israel's Egypt border for Mexico wall ideas: Israel Radio
US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen inspected Israel's fenced-off border with Egypt on Tuesday for ideas for the US border with Mexico، where President Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall، Israel Radio reported.
Trump has said the United States needs a wall along its 3،200-km (2،000-mile) southern border to prevent illegal immigrants entering from Mexico and that Mexico should pay for the project. Mexico has rejected that idea and the funding dispute has stirred US domestic dissent.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu angered Mexico last year by publicly backing Trump's call and pointing to the towering، sensor-rigged Egyptian border fence as a possible model. Trump، in turn، has admired Israel's barrier.
Nielsen confirmed her visit in remarks to an international homeland security conference in Jerusalem later in the day.
"Border security is national security. Our Israeli partners know that better than anyone and I was fortunate today to see the incredible work they’re doing to keep their territory and citizens safe،” she said.
A US official told Reuters: "She understood the challenges and opportunities that exist there."
The US Department of Homeland Security declined comment. In a June 8 statement، it had said that while traveling in Israel this week Nielsen would "receive an operational briefing on Israeli border infrastructure technology and systems".
The razor wire-lined Israeli fence، which is between 5 metres and 8 metres (15 feet and 24 feet) in height، was erected over three years along the 230-km (143-mile) frontier with Egypt's Sinai desert. It cost Israel around $380 million.
Israel credits the fence with stemming an influx of African migrants and infiltration by Islamic State-linked militants.
In March، Trump signed a federal spending bill from Congress that contained $1.6 billion to pay for six months of work on his wall. He had asked for $25 billion for it.
Red Sea court adjourns trial of Italian tourist who murdered Egyptian
The Red Sea Criminal Court on Tuesday adjourned to August 8 the trial of Italian tourist Ivan Pascal Moro، charged with murdering an Egyptian hotel engineer in Marsa Alam last year.
The court started hearings on the case in December. The defendant hadn’t attended any of the trial sessions.
The prosecutor banned the defendant from travel، requiring he sign an affidavit stating he would not leave the country and appear before the investigative bodies at any time if summoned for investigation.
Judge Islam Aboudy، head of the Hurghada District Court، released Moro on a bail of LE 100،000، which the accused paid and was released in September.
Moro was detained in August for allegedly beating supervising engineer Tarik Abdel Hamidin to death on a hotel building site at the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam.
Hamidin died on August 10 following an altercation between the two men، where he warned Moro not to enter a restricted construction area، according to a Tourism Ministry statement.
The Tourism Ministry stated that Moro confessed to the murder of Hamidin.