Egypt raises military pensions amid austerity measures

The rises introduced by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will take effect from July 1 (Reuters/Charles Platiau/File Photo)
Updated 24 June 2018
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Egypt raises military pensions amid austerity measures

  • Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has raised pensions for military personnel and salaries for civil servants by 15 percent amid a wave of price hikes linked to austerity measures
  • The raises, published late Saturday in the official gazette, will take effect on July 1.

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has raised pensions for military personnel and salaries for civil servants by 15 percent amid a wave of price hikes linked to austerity measures.
The raises, published late Saturday in the official gazette, will take effect on July 1. El-Sisi, a retired general, has raised military pensions several times in recent years.
In recent days the government has raised the price of fuel, drinking water and electricity as part of a reform program tied to a three-year, $12 billion bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund, which Egypt secured in 2016.
The tough measures have hit poor and middle-class Egyptians especially hard. El-Sisi has urged Egyptians to be patient as the reforms take effect.


German industry groups warn US on tariffs before Trump-Juncker meeting

Updated 22 July 2018
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German industry groups warn US on tariffs before Trump-Juncker meeting

  • Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1
  • Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts

BERLIN: German industry groups warned on Sunday, before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets US President Donald Trump this week, that tariffs the United States has imposed or is threatening to introduce risk harming America itself.
Citing national security grounds, Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1 and Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts. Juncker will discuss trade with Trump at a meeting on Wednesday.
“The tariffs under the guise of national security should be abolished,” Dieter Kempf, head of Germany’s BDI industry association said. Juncker should tell Trump that the United States would harm itself with tariffs on cars and car parts, he told Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
The German auto industry employed more than 118,000 people in the United States and 60 percent of what they produced was exported. “Europe should not let itself be blackmailed and should put in a confident appearance in the United States,” he added.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio on Sunday he hoped it was still possible to find a solution that was attractive to both sides. “For us, that means we stand by open markets and low tariffs,” he said
He said the possibility of US tariffs on EU cars was very serious and stressed that reductions in international tariffs in the last 40 years and the opening of markets had resulted in major benefits for citizens.
EU officials have tried to lower expectations about what Juncker can achieve, and played down suggestions that he will arrive in Washington with a novel plan to restore good relations.
Altmaier said it was difficult to estimate the impact of any US car tariffs on the German economy, but added: “Tariffs on aluminum and steel had a volume of just over six billion euros. In this case we would be talking about almost ten times that.”
He said he hoped job losses could be avoided but noted that trade between Europe and the United States made up around one third of total global trade.
“You can imagine that if we go down with a cold in the German-American or European-American relationship, many others around us will get pneumonia so it’s highly risky and that’s why we need to end this conflict as quickly as possible.”
Eric Schweitzer, president of the DIHK Chambers of Commerce, told Welt am Sonntag the German economy had for decades counted on open markets and a reliable global trading system but added: “Every day German companies feel the transatlantic rift getting wider.”