Removal of Egyptian energy subsidies impact on food prices

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Removal of Egyptian energy subsidies impact on food prices

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Egyptians are complaining that a cut in government energy subsidies has led to a massive rise not only in fuel prices but also other goods and services.

The government is hoping the scrapping of the subsidies will save the state the equivalent of five billion euros.

“We can’t support this for long,” one man told Euronews. “Should we go out and beg? The government should support us and provide help for food.”

Fuel prices have gone up by as much as 80 per cent, but traders say they have also had to put up prices across the board.

“The reason for the high price of fruit, for example, is the high price of fuel,” one trader told Euronews. “We paid 80 pounds in the past to bring produce here, now we pay about 170 pounds, and that affects the price of goods.”

There has been widespread anger over the government’s removal of energy subsidies, in a country where many people live in poverty. But authorities say the savings will go on key social services.

Euronews’ correspondent in Cairo, Mohammed Shaikhibrahim, reported: “According to the government, the decision to remove the subsidies on petroleum products is necessary to provide more money to cover a budget deficit.

“But it remains to be seen if people are able to endure the hardship before they see any positive results.”