Two billion euro loans for the “capital” train, and the health and education deficit continues

Despite the large deficit in the new budget, which is estimated at more than 2 trillion pounds and more than 170 billion dollars, the Sisi House of Representatives approved, in its plenary session, on Wednesday, two new loans in the amount of two billion euros to finance the project to establish the fast electric train, the cost of the first phase of which is About $11 billion, and extends 660 km from the resort of Ain Sokhna in the east, passing through the new administrative capital, the cities of Sixth of October and Burj Al Arab in Alexandria and New Alamein governorates, to Marsa Matrouh in the west.

The loan exacerbates absurd spending in Egypt on huge, useless projects, and represents only a burden on the state’s general budget, which was approved with a deficit of $25 billion, while Egypt is struggling to sell its assets to collect only $2 billion without interest.

Representative Ahmed Al-Sharqawi criticized the speech of the Minister of Transport, Kamel Al-Wazir, who argued in his justification for the request for the two loans, that some countries in the region have fast trains, such as Morocco.

Al-Sharqawi said: “After the deputies attacked the government because of the high debts and the expansion of borrowing, during the discussion of the final account of the previous state’s budget, here it is offering us two loans for approval in the same session, as if it does not care about the speech of the parliament members.”

Al-Sharqawi added, “Loans and debts are increasing, and the parliamentary majority is still clinging to the same government and the same policies. The government has its priorities as they are, and the Egyptian citizen sits and watches the completion of facilities and projects that most of them do not benefit from, and are funded by loans from abroad.”

Al-Sharqawi described the government as a “failed contractor in its management of projects.” Council Speaker Hanafi Jabali boycotted him, announcing the deletion of the phrase “failed contractor” from the session’s minutes.

Despite the advice of experts and international institutions not to expand borrowing, the government insists on doing what it wants. Billions of loans are wasted in the air, and the people do not welcome such projects, and they suffer in many provinces from the lack of a sewage network.

While Freddy Al-Bayadi said: “Enough debts, O government, you drowned us and suffocated us. The citizen suffers and screams daily, and we are talking about total debts that exceeded 10 trillion pounds, and interest on debts that eat half of the state’s expenditures.”

Al-Bayadi added, “Stop violating the constitution that you swore to respect. The government does not abide by a quarter of the constitutional proportions specified for the education and health sectors, and the country will not fix its situation unless it puts education and health at the top of priorities. I say to the government: “The solution is to invest in people, not in quarantine, and we are now In front of a government that impoverished all classes of the people without exception.

Fiscal deficit

It is noteworthy that the total deficit in the state budget that elapsed on June 30, 2022 amounted to about 484.4 billion pounds, which is equivalent to 25 billion and 765 million dollars at the end of the budget.

The deficit recorded 6.1% of GDP in the fiscal year 2021-2022, compared to 6.8% in the previous year (2020-2021).

The Minister of Finance, Mohamed Maait, said: “The increase in actual allocations for debt interest service from 550 billion pounds to 584 billion is due to global inflation, and the decline in the exchange rate of the pound against the dollar,” adding that “inflation caused central banks to raise the interest rate more than once, And it affected the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against foreign currencies.”

Accumulated debts

According to government data, Egypt’s external debt increased by 5.5% during the last quarter of last year to reach $162.9 billion at the end of December 2022, compared to $154.9 billion in September 2022, noting that the total debt did not exceed $38.3 billion in March 2013.

With Al-Sisi’s seizure of power in 2014, successive governments expanded borrowing from abroad to set up huge projects that have no economic return, amid the exacerbation of citizens’ suffering from the burden of high prices due to the regime’s economic policies over a period of 9 years. Like the country.

Neglect of health and education

Throughout the years of Sisi, important sectors, such as health, education and scientific research, were neglected, and the articles of the constitution were not adhered to, which stipulate the allocation of 10% annually of the gross domestic product for their benefit. Aiming primarily at facilitating the movement of wealthy people between the resorts of New Alamein, the Administrative Capital, and Ain Sokhna.

And with the continuation of these policies, in borrowing and accumulating debts, the suffering of the people will increase amid the deterioration of the services provided to them, such as health, education, and others, while the government expands the services of the wealthy only, for which the average citizen pays for taxes, fees, and others.

Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by

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