Egypt president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (Photo: AP)
Egypt's recently appointed President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Tuesday he will donate half of his monthly salary and half of his wealth in support of the Egyptian economy.
In a speech delivered during the commencement ceremony at the Military Academy and aired on Egyptian television, El-Sisi said he will give up half of his monthly LE42,000 salary to assist Egypt through its economic challenges.
El-Sisi also said he has refused to ratify the 2014-2015 state budget which, in its present form, would raise the total domestic debt to over LE2 trillion.
The current domestic debt stands at LE1.7 trillion.
He urged Egyptians to embrace real sacrifices for their country and to put aside sectoral demands.
"I say this to each and every Egyptian: you must help me," El-Sisi asserted, "This is a time of solidarity, a time to prioritise the nation."
El-Sisi was appointed president earlier in June, after securing more than 96 percent of the Egyptians' vote. He has regularly mentioned the country's troubled economy necessitating austerity measures and the rationalisation of consumption.
Commenting on the controversial Monday court verdicts sentencing three Al Jazeera journalists to 7-10 years in jail, El-Sisi said he will not interfere in the decisions of the judiciary.
"There were a lot of discussions about a verdict [on Monday]. I spoke to the minister of justice and agreed that we will not interfere," he affirmed.
Monday's verdict in the Al Jazeera case, which sentenced foreign and Egyptian journalists to jail, drew sharp local and international criticism. England, Australia and the Netherlands each summoned the Egyptian ambassador on their grounds to express concerns regarding the case and the status of freedom of speech in Egypt.
The Egyptian foreign ministry, however, said it does not accept interference in its internal affairs.
"The judiciary is an independent and honourable institution...if we really want [Egypt] to be a state [run by] institutions, we should refrain [from interfering], even if others do not understand the verdicts," El-Sisi said.