Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during a military graduation ceremony (Photo curtsy Egyptian presidency spokesman official Facebook page)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi warned on Sunday that attempts to provoke chaos and instability in Egypt by fuelling discontent is the most serious threat the country has faced in recent years.
"The real threat our country is facing is being undermined from within; the pressure, the rumours, the terrorist acts, hopelessness and discontentment," El-Sisi said in a televised speech at a military graduation ceremony.
President El-Sisi urged Egyptians to stay alert to such attempts, which he said are part of a plot aimed at "inciting people to destroy their country."
The president said that the rumours circulating among Egyptians over the past three months amounted to 21,000.
El-Sisi's government is pushing ahead with painful economic reforms aimed at stabilising an economy that has struggled since the 2011 uprising, which include fuel and electricity subsidy cuts, a value-added tax, as well as a currency flotation.
El-Sisi reiterated that the austerity measures were necessary to improve the country's battered economy.
He says the struggle to overcome the tough economic conditions, which have left many struggling with soaring living costs, cannot be compared to the "destruction of the country and the spread of chaos."
On Saturday, the government said it was raising the price of natural gas for home and commercial use by up to 75 percent.