Army offers food, transportation alternatives to combat high prices

Ahram Online, Monday 7 Jul 2014

Egyptians have been complaining of excessively high transport fares following an increase in fuel prices

Army buses
Army-owned buses on the streets to combat high fares demanded by drivers (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Buses owned by the army will be sent to the streets to combat high fares following an increase in fuel prices, military spokesman Mohamed Samir announced on Monday.

The statement also mentioned that army-owned outlets would sell food at low prices and in high quantities.

A sudden increase in fuel prices has led to frequent quarrels between drivers and passengers who refuse to pay a fare that they see as "unjustifiably" higher than before, accusing drivers of "abusing" the situation.

Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported that several minibus drivers in Giza staged a strike on Monday to object to the increase in fuel prices.

The increase in fuel and electricity prices, introduced on Friday, came after President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ratified the annual budget with energy subsidies in mind.

The amended budget managed to trim the country’s deficit by LE48 billion to register LE240 billion – or 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) – featuring a LE44 billion cut in energy subsidies.

The decision triggered divided views between those applauding it and others worrying that the move would negatively affect citizens who are already burdened by high commodity prices and an economy hit by political turmoil.

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