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Egyptians suffer cuts and queues as fuel crisis bites

Egyptians suffer cuts and queues as fuel crisis bites
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The news from Egypt since 2011 has been dominated by politics, upheaval, and religious tensions, but daily needs are becoming a pressing concern.

Since the 2011 revolution Egypt has struggled to import oil as government deficits have risen and its creditworthiness has plunged. The result has been fuel shortages, and in the past few weeks power cuts in many places, including Cairo. Queues are lengthening at petrol stations with supplies.

“Goods vehicles and minivans use kerosene, and we need a solution. The gas stations are overcrowded. I’ve just come from the main national station where there are long queues on both sides of the street,” said one driver.

“This affects us badly and stops us working. We wait in long queues every day. I hope God helps us, we are very tired and we waste so much time getting fuel,” said another.

The IMF is pressing Egypt to cut fuel subsidies and rein in public spending if it wants financial assistance, but tax collection is failing and a black market can charge exorbitant prices where there are few alternative sources of fuel.

“The lack of fuel is a challenge for ordinary Egyptians trying to live from day to day, specifically petrol and kerosene, on which electricity generation depends. For the first time the transportation sector is being hit, yet Egypt still exports to neighbouring countries, while suffering shortages itself,” says euronews’ Mohammed Shaikhibrahim.