Egypt Independent

Sunday’s papers: Sohag getaway



President Morsy’s visit to Sohag governorate was spread all over the daily newspapers Sunday. The state-owned flagship newspaper, Al-Ahram, focused on the development plans for Sohag and Upper Egypt that Morsy announced Saturday, with projects worth an estimated LE60 billion expected to create jobs for 2.5 million people.

Morsy was accompanied with Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and other officials. He held a cabinet meeting at the Sohag Governorate building, where he discussed the problems, services and requirements of Upper Egypt governorates.

Morsy said that Upper Egypt had been deprived of many basic services under the former regime and that their demands are legitimate, according a lead in the state-owned Al Akhbar.

Morsy confirmed his administration’s obligation to providing support Upper Egypt during a speech at the indoor stadium in Sohag. He had pointed to many topics, including housing, unemployment, infrastructure and security during his visit. Morsy inaugurated new housing units and handed a number of citizens their new contracts.

Meanwhile, the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm highlighted how Morsy’s visit was met with demonstrations in different parts of the city, and how the protests escalated into clashes between opposition and the Brotherhood youth and their backers.

Clashes started between members of the Muslim Brotherhood and demonstrators, who carried an empty coffin wrapped in the Egyptian flag, as an expression of the death of Egypt under Brotherhood rule. Security forces used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the commission supervising the visit cancelled Morsy’s opening of a pasta factory owned by the Armed Forces, after it was reported that former President Hosni Mubarak inaugurated it five years ago.

The paper also reports that the Ministry of Petroleum injected about 200 tons of diesel, during Morsy’s visit to get rid of fuel queues at gas stations in the governorate.

The daily of the opposition party Al-Wafd reported on striking bakers. Hundreds of bakery owners stormed the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade building on Qasr al-Aini Street in downtown Cairo, demanding to meet with the minister Bassem Kamal.

Protestors came from several governorates, demanding delayed payment and rejecting the new system regulating bread. The ministry’s security negotiated with the protesters, convincing them to stay away from the ministry building. The bakers agreed to postpone their strikes until Tuesday after meeting with the Minster of Supply, who was accompanying Morsy in his visit to Sohag.

Al-Akhbar centered on the Ultras Ahlawy’s protest at the High Court building in downtown Cairo. As the hardcore soccer fans’ march started Saturday at Al-Ahly club in Gezira to the High Court demanding the release of members of the group who were detained in Monufiya governorate. Thirty-eight members of the ultras were arrested in Monufiya on Wednesday, following clashes with police at Shibin al-Kom court.

On a different note, Al-Ahram pointed to the visit of a senior official with the International Monetary Fund to discuss issues that have delayed the US$4.8 billion loan, which is seen as a final lifeline to rescue Egypt.

Page 2 of the paper says that the director for the Middle East and North Africa, Masood Ahmed, would visit Cairo on Sunday to discuss Egypt's economic program, as the government seeks an agreement. Securing aid would involve dedicated austerity measures that are likely to lead to increased unrest at a time when President Morsy is already struggling to maintain law and order.  

“Maghrabi, Garana, Makhlouf and Hazeq acquitted in Hurghada and Sokhna land [case],” Al-Masry Al-Youm reads on page 3. On Saturday, Giza Criminal Court cleared former Housing Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi, former Tourism Minister Zoheir Garana, Khaled Makhlouf, the head of the executive apparatus for tourism development, and businessman Hisham al-Hazeq were acquitted of charges of profiteering and facilitating the seizure of public money in what has come to be known as the Hurghada land case.

Egypt’s papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned

Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Youm7: Daily, privately owned

Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned

Al-Sabah: Daily, privately owned

Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party

Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party