An Egyptian real estate company has posted a controversial ad on its official Facebook page that raised angry comments from social media activists who considered the post a provocative racial ad.
The post of Beverly Hills Egypt, a real estate company – which was later deleted after it was widely criticized on the social networking sites – said, ” Oh God Thanks for the blessing of the human, high-level, and secure home.” The post added a hashtag saying, [#Isn’t_it_time_to_give_thanks]. The post also included a picture showing the difference between the ordinary houses of the majority of Egyptians and the high-level compound’s luxurious villas with gardens, swimming pools, and other facilities. The compound in the picture was surrounded by high walls to separate it from the houses of poor Egyptians living outside. Moreover, Egyptians outside the luxurious compound were shown as being “envious” of the compound’s high-level inhabitants.
Almost all the comments on the controversial post – which were later deleted together with the original post – were critical of what people on the social networking sites considered as “racial”, “provocative”, and raising grudges among Egyptians.
Egyptians’ suffering escalating due to Al-Sisi decision to float Egypt’s national currency
Seeking to meet the International Monetary Fund demands, Egypt’s Al-Sisi took the unprecedented step of floating the Egyptian national currency and announced a series of sweeping austerity measures in an attempt to stabilize an economy that has been badly affected by a dollar shortage, raising fears of social unrest.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) also raised interest rates by 3 %. It raised the overnight interest rate, overnight lending rate and the rate of the central bank’s operation to 14.75%, 15.75% and 15.25%, respectively. The discount rate was also raised by 3 % points to 15.25%, according to the CBE statement.
Egypt’s economy has been suffering since the military coup in 2013. Tourism and foreign investments which were among the major resources of foreign currency have withdrawn as a result of political unrest and security instability in Sinai Peninsula which led to a shortage of hard currency.
The central bank said its decision to immediately liberalize the exchange rate is part of Egypt’s “home-grown reform program, backed by the support of the international community.”
It said, “This move will allow market demand and supply dynamics to work effectively,” it said.
But despite the decision to float the Egyptian currency, the Egyptian government still faces many economic as well as social challenges as the required program of the IMF loan – which the government has already secured – came with strict austerity measures that have made Egyptians’ lives even more difficult.
Moreover, managing the fallout on average Egyptians struggling with surging prices has been a challenge to al-Sisi, whose government is also trying to revive a tourism industry battered by terrorist attacks in Sinai. The inflation rate is at the highest in at least seven years, “according to Bloomberg.
In addition, reviving foreign investment will also be one of al-Sisi government’s challenges especially with the presence of the military in business that will definitely have negative repercussions on the investment environment.
The Egyptian military has widened its economic activity, including producing cement, supplying medical items to hospitals, running the government’s smart-card system for the distribution of subsidized goods, establishing fish farms and manufacturing water meters. Moreover, last year al-Sisi issued a law that allows the army to set up companies with the participation of domestic or foreign capital.
Analysts repeatedly warned of the military expansion in business saying that its economic activities will probably shrink both national and foreign investments as no one will rescue competing the army in business.