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Egypt's Sisi Pledges to Protect the Poor, Middle-Class

Egypt's Sisi Pledges to Protect the Poor, Middle-Class

Monday, 30 September, 2019 - 09:00
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Egypt's president says he'll protect the poor and middle-class Egyptians hard hit by his government's austerity measures.

The remarks are the first on economy by Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, following rare anti-government protests earlier this month believed to have been partly driven by economic hardship.

Sisi tweeted late Sunday that measures are underway to "protect the rights of the people" adversely impacted by slashing subsidies. He didn't elaborate.

Sisi's ambitious reform program, launched in 2016, aims at overhauling the country's ailing economy. The government has also floated the currency and substantially cut subsidies.

The austerity measures have taken a heavy toll on poor and middle-class Egyptians. The official statistics agency reported in July that one in three Egyptians is living in poverty.

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