There have been different attitudes of Malawi’s President Joyce Banda and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toward the economic crisis in their countries. While Joyce sold off her presidential Falcon-7X jet to feed the poor in her country, Sisi has recently bought four new jets, while asking his people to stick to austerity because of his country’s deteriorating economy, according to Alkhaleejonline.
While Al-Sisi was asking the Egyptians to tolerate more austerity, La Tribune, a French newspaper, has recently confirmed that the Egyptian Presidency bought four Falcon 4X jets from Dassault Aviation at a cost of 300 million Euros ($338 million).
The Egyptian government has recently decided to raise the prices of electricity and and gradually cut off its subsidy. Also, Minister of Endowments Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa has made a decision not to annex any new mosques (constructed at the expense of citizens through donations) to the endowments ministry except after adding an article, exempting the ministry from the payment of the electricity and water bills and committing worshipers to pay them.
Howover, Egypt’s Ministry of Supply, which has been mercilessly working on curtailing the subsides off the poor, is quarreling with PM Mostafa Bakry has unveiled that Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafi has been residing in one of Cairo’s luxurious hotels for two years since he took office. Bakry, who is known for his full support to al-Sisi, said that the Minister’s residence has cost the country 10,000 pounds on a daily basis. This means that the government which is allegedly adopting austerity has paid almost 6 million pounds for the minister’s residence.
Politicians and analysts believe that this extreme contradiction in the government’s calls (for austerity) and its conduct reflects mismanagement, uncovers disarrangement of priorities, and unveils the waste of dollar resources . . In fact, the poor bear these burdens that are resulting from the the government’s wrong conduct.
In this context, Mamdouh Hamza, a political activist, described the payment of billions of Egyptian pounds for buying new presidential jets as ”misbehavior”. Hamza pointed that buying these jets in parallel with the government’s calls that the citizens should bear the mosques’ electricity and water bills infers that there is chaos in arranging the priorities.
He added, “These attitudes ensure the regime’s mismanagement, and lack of awareness of the basics that the economy should be directed to within the absence of production.” In the same context, the media spokesperson of Masr al-Qaweya Party, Mahmoud al-Shaieb, said, “The essence of Egypt’s crisis is mainly political”, adding that “Egypt has been living in a political instability since 2013.”
In addition, “Egypt’s political and security chaos have used up the country’s basic dollar resources; tourism and foreign investment,” al-Shaieb said. He continued, “Any country that undergoes an economic crisis, resorts to austerity policies through decreasing the public spending, facing corruption. But in Egypt, while the regime is calling people to bear the austerity measures, it has bought presidential jets worth millions of dollars instead.”
Al-Shaieb said, “The government management is irrational as it has been only wasting the country’s resources while the anti corruption regulations are inactivated because the government isn’t serious.” He also confirmed that the government call upon people for austerity, “aren’t useful without rationalizing the public spending and facing corruption.” Masr al-Qaweya spokesperson concluded that raising the electricity prices is “unjustified” as the poor are bearing more than they can afford to meet the government’s decisions. He also stressed that the government should stick to transparency and announce the accurate cost of electricity production as well as the amount of subsidy provided to the citizens.
In the same context, the director of the International Academy for Studies and Development, Mamdouh Al-Mounir, stressed that the price of the presidential jets bought by al-Sisi “is enough to save the lives of millions of patients in Egypt. “Al-Mounir pointed that, “the lack of accountability and the absence of transparency have widely opened the door for corruption.”He added that these practices eliminate the investment in Egypt as well.
He asked, “What encourages any businessman to invest in a country that deals with its people’s money in an irresponsible way?”
He noted that al-Sisi ”doesn’t care about the Egyptian people, as the only thing that he cares for is the continuous loyalty to the military institution. That’s why he fills the pockets of the army and police institutions with money.” He continued, “Al-Sisi is eager to make the citizens bear the burdens of his irresponsible costs to cover the deficit in the country’s budget through raising the electricity prices and so forth. “Regarding the accusations raised against the Minister of Supply of wasting the public fund, Al-Mounir said, “What do you expect from a corrupt system, particularly with a simulated parliament that doesn’t represent the Egyptian people?”