Egypt prosecution orders detention of six people for 'illegally protesting' fuel price hike

Ahram Online , Sunday 2 Jul 2017

A Cairo prosecution has ordered the four-day detention of six people pending investigations into illegal protest against the latest hike in fuel prices, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

The defendants, who were arrested from their homes for participating in the Thursday demonstration by parking their cars on a Cairo bridge, are also being investigated for allegedly being members of a Facebook page that is inciting protests against the fuel price hike.

On Thursday, Egypt’s cabinet announced a new cut in energy subsidies, resulting in an increase in fuel prices.

The move comes as part of the government's five-year plan to gradually scrap its fuel subsidy bill from the state budget.

The goal is to decrease subsidies from EGP 145 billion this fiscal year – which ends in June – to EGP 110 billion in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

Fuel subsidy cuts are part of an economic reform programme adopted in July 2014 with the aims of easing the country's growing budget deficit.

The first increase of fuel prices came in November, shortly after the Central Bank of Egypt freely floated the pound.

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