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Thursday, 23 September 2021

No plans to cut ERTU salaries: Egypt information minister

Following protests at state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), Information Minister Salah Abdel-Maqsoud dismisses rumours of impending pay cuts

Ahram Online, Tuesday 23 Apr 2013
Information Minister
Salah Abdel-Maksoud, Egyptian Minister of Information (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's information ministry has no intention to introduce new financial regulations nor pay cuts in the state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud tells the Egyptian satellite channel on Monday morning.

Dozens of ERTU (aka "Maspero") employees staged a rally on Sunday outside their headquarters in Cairo to protest new wage scales and what they claim are ministry-imposed restrictions on coverage.

Some protesting employees called for the minister to be sacked, who they accuse of adopting polices favouring the Muslim Brotherhood - the group from which President Mohamed Morsi hails.

In his televised comments late on Monday Minister Abdel Maqsoud quashed allegations that the ministry was restricting freedoms and stressed that it seeks to allow media to present differing viewpoints.

As proof of this, the minister cites personal criticism levelled at him on Egyptian television.

On other matters, the ministry will pay out LE35 million worth in overdue payments, including retirement benefits to employees on Wednesday, Abdel Maqsoud asserts.

He also claims the ministry is currently reviewing a new draft bill to establish a media syndicate. The ERTU is only an official Egyptian state TV and radio body, but is not actually a syndicate. This draft law will then be submitted to the Shura Council (Egypt's upper house of parliament, which currently holds legislative power).

Abdel-Maqsoud came under fire last week when a female Egyptian journalist accused him of harassment after he made a comment filmed at a press conference that was widely circulated on online social media networks.

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