Egypt parliament clashes over end of year economy results

The People’s Assembly saw a confrontation yesterday between Gawdat el-Malt, head of the Central Auditing Organization (CAO) and Ahmed Ezz, head of the Planning and Budget Committee of the People’s Assembly, over Egypt’s end-of-year economic results.

Ezz said the past five years have witnessed an increase in the overall rate of growth that has been unparalleled in the past 40 years.

He emphasized that Egypt’s growth rate was close to 4.6 percent, at a time when Japan, England, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland all saw negative rates. He added that the public debt measured against domestic production dropped from 78 percent in 2004 to 68 percent this year.

Ezz also said that the Egyptian middle class is growing, adding that 3.4 million jobs were created over the last five years, while the unemployment rate decreased from 10 to 8.7 percent. He concluded that the average income of Egyptian citizens has increased.

El-Malt responded that increased growth rates and government efforts to combat the negative effects of the global financial crisis haven’t imporved the lives of Egyptians, adding that the poverty rate climbed from 20 percent in 2007/2008 to 23.4 percent in 2008/2009.

El-Malt said that the rural population accounts for 77 percent of the poor in Egypt, adding that Egypt is ranked 82nd among the poorest 135 countries in the world.

Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros-Ghali disputed these findings, saying that the president of CAO depended on the World Bank’s 2009 report which uses figures from the year 2008, the year when the international financial crisis began. Ghali concluded that el-Malt’s figures compared "apples with oranges."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

Related Articles

Back to top button