At least 130 people are arrested as rallies erupt
across the country against poor economic
conditions and rising costs.
At least 130 people have been arrested across
Egypt as calls for protests against poor economic
conditions and rising prices went largely
In the capital, Cairo, where riot police had been
deployed in force in anticipation of Friday’s
protests, some 39 alleged demonstrators were
Police also quickly scattered several dozen
protesters who assembled in the port city of Suez,
according to media reports.
Meanwhile in Beheira province, some 70km north
of Cairo, sources said that security
forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets against
There had been calls on social media by a group
calling itself the Movement of the Poor for protests
against rising prices and President Abdel Fattah el
Unlicensed protests had been banned in Egypt after
the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in
2013 and launched a crackdown on his followers.
After months of a dollar crunch that caused a
slump in imports, Egypt last week floated the
pound, drastically depreciating its value. Inflation,
currently at 14 percent, is expected to rise.
The government said the move, part of an austerity
programme in tandem with a $12bn IMF loan,
could no longer be postponed.
In a statement late on Friday, the IMF said it had
approved the $12bn loan to Egypt and that and
that the country’s Central Bank had received an
initial tranche of $2.75bn.
Egyptian State TV said the initial tranche had
increased the country’s foreign reserves to $
Previous governments have been wary of such
measures, fearing they could spark unrest.
Import-dependent Egypt has struggled to attract
dollars and revive its economy since tourists and
investors fled after the 2011 uprising that ended
Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
Political uncertainty, macroeconomic instability and
global economic turmoil since the 2008 financial
crisis have all contributed to Egypt’s prolonged
recession, soaring unemployment and foreign
Source: Al Jazeera And Agencies