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Sisi's call for austerity falls flat with Egyptians

While Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has recently called on Egyptians to embrace austerity, some question whether state officials will also have to cut down on their opulent spending.
People queue for subsidised bread at a bakery that uses smart card payment system in the Suez Canal city of Port Said, 170 km (106 miles) northeast of Cairo, February 24, 2014. A device resembling a credit card swiper is revolutionizing some of Egypt's politically explosive bread lines and may help achieve the impossible -- cutting crippling food import bills. Authorities who hope to avoid protests over subsidized loaves sold for the equivalent of one U.S. cent have turned to smart cards to try to manage th
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“Our economic circumstances, in all sincerity and with all understanding, are very, very difficult.” “I wonder, did anyone say that I will walk for a little bit to help my country?” “The country will not make progress by using words. It will make progress by working, and through perseverance, impartiality and altruism. Possibly one or two generations will [have to suffer] so that the remaining generations live.” These are parts of the speech by Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on March 6 at the opening of the second conference of young doctors and recent graduates.

Some have considered Sisi's speech to be an invitation to austerity for the Egyptian people, prompting activists on social media and forums to spread a video showing Sisi’s Land Rover, which is estimated at 2.5 million Egyptian pounds ($360,000). The video is titled “Sisi begins a campaign of austerity and walks.”

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