Egypt government won't resign, says PM Qandil

Ahram Online, Thursday 14 Feb 2013

Prime Minister Hisham Qandil dismisses reports his government will resign, says he will push forward with plan to secure IMF loan, criticises Egyptian media

Egypt's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil (Photo: AP)

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has quashed media reports that his government will resign and said he will push forward with his long-term goals.

"Resignation at the present time of serious challenges would mean surrender," Qandil said on Wednesday during an interview with Mona El-Shazli on MBC Misr TV.

Opposition groups and activists have been calling for the government's dismissal.

Qandil voiced dissatisfaction with the government's performance in the areas of security and economics, which he attributed to high levels of political unrest.

"I am not satisfied because I persistently seek improvement. Such dissatisfaction boils down to the high expectations the revolution created, which are higher than the ability of the state [to fulfil]," Qandil added.

"The government has created 750,000 job opportunities, improved services for the poor, and integrated 3,000 informal economic institutions into the formal economy," he said.

He went on to criticise the Egyptian media for "sparking off crises."

"The Egyptian media is free, yet it lacks controls," Qandil added.

The government has held several meetings with opposition forces, Qandil said. The opposition demanded jobs in the cabinet, the dismissal of the prosecutor-general, as well as constitutional amendments over which they will not compromise.

Egypt's 'technocratic' government will be announcing comprehensive monetary and economic measures to bolster the country's economy, Qandil added.

The government has finished drawing up an economic reform programme needed to obtain a $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan, he said, a step seen as crucial to shoring up the country's finances.

"We are still faced with some challenges in finalising the deal. But, we are not back to point zero," he said.

Qandil said the decision to raise commodity prices had been deferred following a public backlash.

Egypt's technocrat government is totally separate from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, Qandil claimed, and Brotherhood leader Khairat El-Shater never interferes in the government's decisions.

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