Alexandria’s former deputy governor sentenced to 12 years for bribery

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as his government has taken a hard line against institutional corruption. (Supplied)
Updated 04 February 2019
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Alexandria’s former deputy governor sentenced to 12 years for bribery

  • The uncovering of bribery scandals has become increasingly common under Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as his government has taken a hard line against institutional corruption

CAIRO: Alexandria’s former deputy governor, Souad Al-Khouli, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for bribery by a court in Cairo on Wednesday.
An investigation launched in August 2017 had alleged Al-Khouli accepted numerous bribes while in office, taking money, gold jewelry, and other gifts worth more than 1 million Egyptian pounds ($56,484) in return for political favors. Her actions, it is thought, caused a loss of up to 10 million Egyptian pounds in public revenue.
Al-Khouli was removed from office following the investigation. She had previously garnered a reputation for enthusiasm for social justice, and her arrest shocked many in Alexandria, as her public image had been largely positive up to that point.
The Egyptian Administrative Control Authority (ACA), though, found that Al-Khouli had, among other bribes, taken 500,000 Egyptian pounds from the Alexandria Co. for General Contracting, as well as gold jewelry from a businessman in the district of Al-‘Ajami to green-light a local infrastructure development.
The uncovering of bribery scandals has become increasingly common under Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as his government has taken a hard line against institutional corruption. Local newspapers now report arrests made by the ACA on an almost daily basis, many of officials left over from the previous regime.
Hosni Mubarak, the former president ousted from office in 2011, went on trial alongside his sons Gamal and Alaa in April that year, accused of numerous counts of corruption, embezzlement, stock market manipulation and abuse of power, as well as the premeditated killing of Egyptian protestors. He was released from prison in March 2017.


New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

Updated 26 April 2019
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New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

  • The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July
  • Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues

RABAT: The Moroccan government on Thursday announced a “new social deal” with employers and the main labor unions, under which many workers will enjoy a pay rise.
The deal agreed by the General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) and the three main unions — the UMT, UGTM and UNMT — is the fruit of months of negotiations
The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July, except for the agricultural sector.
Government-paid family allowances will also rise.
Meanwhile public sector workers will be given a 300-500 dirham monthly pay increase over three years.
Of Morocco’s main trade unions only the Democratic Labour Confederation has not signed the social deal which, according to the government statement, is aimed at “improving spending power and the social climate.”
Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues, in particular health and education in the north African country which has been hit by protests over employment and corruption.
Mohammed VI pointed to social support and social protection programs that “overlap each other, suffer from a lack of consistency and fail to effectively target eligible groups.”
After months of stalemate, the dossier was handed to the interior ministry at the beginning of the year and the final rounds of talks were held.
The social unrest began in October 2016 after the death of a fisherman and spiralled into a wave of protests demanding more development in the neglected Rif region and railing against corruption and unemployment.
Morocco is marked by glaring social and territorial inequalities, against a backdrop of high unemployment among young people. In 2018, it was ranked 123rd out of 189 countries and territories on the Human Development Index.