Egypt Independent

Protest against soaring food prices erupts before ministers’ council

A demonstration was staged in front of the Cairo headquarters of Egypt's Council of Ministers on Sunday to protest soaring food prices.

The demonstration was organized and attended by members of several opposition groups, including Kefaya, the Popular Free Front and Youth for Justice.

Protesters called for increasing the national minimum wage and chanted slogans critical of Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali and Manpower Minister Aisha Abdel Hadi.

Security forces prevented a number of political activists from taking part in the protest–including Kefaya movement coordinator Abdel Halim Qandil–and surrounded dozens of protesters in a security cordon.

“The protest is a reaction to the ridiculous jump in prices recently,” Qandil told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Mohamed Awad, coordinator of the Popular Free Front, accused Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif of distancing himself from the problems of the poor.

"The PM has remained in hiding since the price hikes began," said Awad. "And we haven’t seen any attempt by the government to rein in the unjustifiable increases in food prices.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.