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Mona El-Nahhas , Tuesday 11 Jul 2023

 

Inflation rate soaring

EGYPT’s annual headline inflation soared to 36.8 per cent in June, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) on Monday. The latest data revealed that inflation jumped an additional two percentage points from May’s 34.8 per cent and more than doubled since last year’s 14.7 per cent. CAPMAS attributed the significant increase primarily to higher prices of food and beverages which increased by 1.5 per cent monthly and 64.9 per cent annually in June. In line with Egypt’s commitments under its $3 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund approved in December, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has set two targets: achieving an average inflation rate of seven per cent by the fourth quarter of 2024 and five per cent by the fourth quarter of 2026. In a bid to contain the inflation wave that began in March 2022, the CBE raised interest rates 10 per cent, with five per cent of the increase implemented since the beginning of 2023. However, the IMF loan deal is currently facing challenges. The first review, scheduled to be completed on 15 March, has not made progress. In its last meeting held in June, the CBE kept key interest rates unchanged. Under the IMF deal, Egypt is committed to implementing a flexible interest rate with the objective of curbing high inflation. The CBE’s next meeting is scheduled for 3 August which will mark the first meeting of the new fiscal year 2023/24.

 

Defendant in Madinaty case referred to trial 

THE ARMY officer accused of intentional homicide in the so-called Madinaty incident has been referred to emergency military criminal court after the military prosecution completed its investigations, according to a statement by Armed Forces spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez on Sunday. The incident, in which the defendant killed a woman after running her over and injuring her husband and their children in Madinaty compound in the New Cairo city earlier this month sparked outrage across Egypt. The incident happened when one of the family’s children scratched the defendant’s car while riding a scooter. The defendant did not accept the apology of the family, who are neighbours, running over pharmacist Basma Ali and husband Hamdan Zaki, a veterinarian. The couple lived and worked in Kuwait and were visiting Egypt for the Eid Al-Adha holiday with their four children.

 

Zoo, park closed for renovation

GIZA Zoo and Orman botanical garden are officially closed for renovation starting 9 July, according to a statement by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. A committee from the Ministry of Military Production has taken over both parks to begin renovation, a process that may take up to 18 months. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the renovation of the zoo aims to upgrade it to meet international standards and to recapture its position as an internationally recognised zoo. The zoo will turn into an open-range enclosure applying the highest global safety standards. New and rare species of animals will also be brought in. The plan will preserve the historical character of the parks and their rare plants and trees. A gondola lift will connect the two gardens.


* A version of this article appears in print in the 13 July, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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