Egypt restricts privatisation

Africa
Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has banned the privatisation of state firms. Picture: Reuters

EGYPT - President Mohamed Morsi has said his government will no longer privatise state firms, in a break with a policy launched in the 1990s by his ousted predecessor Hosni Mubarak's regime.

"There will be no more sale of the public sector, that is finished and we will no longer do away with workers," he said in a televised May Day speech before workers in Helwan, south of Cairo.

"Encouraging the private sector and private investments does not mean an alternative to the public sector, which must be developed," said the Islamist president who was elected last June.

"The public and private sectors complement each other," he said, vowing to inject investments and a "new vision" to state enterprises.

A privatisation programme launched in the 1990s resulted in large scale job losses.

The courts returned some of the firms to the state following alleged corruption in sales operations.

A halt to privatisation raises fears over foreign investments, which have already collapsed due to insecurity in the wake of the 2011 revolution which toppled Mubarak.

In economic crisis, Egypt's foreign currency reserves have plunged to $13.5 billion from $36 billion in the past two years, key tourism revenues have declined and the budget deficit has widened.

Talks between the International Monetary Fund and Egypt on a $4.8 billion financing programme have bogged down, with the global crisis lender saying Cairo has to show its commitment to a broader reform plan.

COMMENTS

     

LATEST STORIES

Pavement meat vendors in Cape Town's townships claim the SPCA is ruining their trade.
Israeli soldiers should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for the "unimaginable restraint" they are showing in fighting Hamas, according to Israel's ambassador to the US.
A British government investigation found evidence Tuesday that Muslim fundamentalists successfully gained control of some schools, raising fears that pupils are now vulnerable to r

TOP STORIES view all

The SAPS resorted to firing on EFF supporters outside the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday.
Dutch experts on Tuesday prepared to fly out bodies recovered from downed Malaysian flight MH17, as Europe moved to punish Russia for fanning the east Ukraine rebellion.
The trial of Radovan Krejcir and five others was disrupted in the High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, when the Czech fugitive refused to return to court after lunch.

NEWS STREAMcloseview all

This is the overlay

eNCA Subscriptions

Close