On Friday cars stood in queues in front of fuel stations waiting for their turn to get fuel for hours after breakfast as soon as possible before 12 AM. Word hit the streets yesterday that the government would raise the fuel prices by midnight and yes it did at Zero Hero aka 12 AM.
The prices of lowest-value Octane 80 fuel rose by 78 percent and the cost of diesel rose by 64 percent. The energy subsidies are cut in the new budget that suffers from huge deficit.
Lifting up the subsidies like that as well the increase in the price of fuel mean that there will be an increase in everything else using transportation in the society above them food supplies. It is like a chain reaction.
On Sunday a presidential law was issued with an increase in the sales tax of cigarettes 50% as well beer “200%” and wine “150%”. Of course I do not understand why the wine’s sales taxes would be less than the beer.
This decision is identical to Morsi’s decision to increase taxations and customs in 2012 , a decision he would take and then later had to cancel it after huge criticism and anger.
Amazingly El-Sisi did what Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to do from passing laws like protest law , stopping Bassem Youssef’s show and taking decisions like increasing the prices of the fuel and yet there is no anger or outcry in the media.
This time I doubt that with El-Sisi’s personality and the support he got from every state institution above them the army and the media as well from abroad that the Field Marshal would change his mind and cancel these decisions. Already this is what the IMF wanted to happen in Egypt form long time.
El-Sis did what Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood as well El-Sadat failed to do when you think about it. May be both Mubarak and Morsi should have issued their decisions in Ramadan as well.
Of course we must admit that the regime chose the perfect timing in Ramadan , in summer time during the World cup along with the constant bombings in Cairo and ISIS declaring the Caliphate in addition to the evil Muslim Brotherhood that wants to be back. You got a protest law and you got a media that would make any protester thinks twice before spending 15 years in jail.
Some predict that those decisions can be an introduction to an uprising like in the 1977 but let’s be clear here I do not see this possible happening soon as I hinted above. May be I am wrong.
Yesterday some microbus drivers and taxi drivers organized strikes in several areas in Cairo , Giza and other governorates. Needless to say in the past 24 hours there were many reports of fights between drivers and passengers over the increase in fares. The fishermen in several governorates are having their own strike against the new fuel’s prices.
On the other hand you got the PM saying proudly that he got a promise from the Micro-buses drivers in Cairo that they would not raise the fare and that the Cairo and Giza governorates gave their orders to taxi drivers that they would not raise their fares. As if the drivers would listen to those orders.
Ironically El-Sisi admitted in his meeting with the journalists today that the government did not have the mechanism to control the market “it is good that the ex-military man knows that” and that he would not stop in reforming the market.
By the way despite his presidential campaign promises that he would not tough the subsidies except after raising the the wages limits and so , El-Sisi said that he was totally against subsidies from a year ago during his meetings with the army men.
Of course now Mohamed El-Arian in Cairo , I believe more neoliberal policies are coming in the way.
The El-Sisi supporters are now launching campaigns supporting the president’s decisions blindly for the sake of Egypt and so on without any consideration to the price they and their kids would pay.
Zenobia wrote at 6th july about the decision of Government subsidies for gasoline and The consequences of that decision.
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