Monday, February 29, 2016

After his motorcade is driven over 2.5 mile red carpet, Sisi calls for austerity measures


Fury as 2.5 mile red carpet rolled out for Egyptian president as he visits social housing

A row has erupted after Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi gave a speech about austerity after having a huge red carpet laid out for him over public roads.

The top official's motorcade drove over the 2.5 mile carpet during a trip to social housing projects in Cairo.

The incident sparked a furious backlash on social media, with images of el-Sisi's grand arrival being widely shared by Twitter users.

And the Al-Maqal newspaper suggested he was a hypocrite for asking ordinary people to "tighten [their] belts" when the red carpet "says otherwise".

During Saturday's speech el-Sisi claimed the state spends a staggering £3.5 million every day on clean water.

Only part of the cost passed on to consumers, he added.

He said: "One [cubic] metre of water that reaches you costs me this much, and you are taking it by that much, and the state is unable to continue this way."

A military spokesman defended the use of the carpet, saying it had not been bought by el-Sisi's administration.

He said: "It gives a kind of joy and assurance to the Egyptian citizen that our people and our land and our armed forces are always capable of organising anything in a proper manner.

"It is laid out in a way to beautify the general area, so it gives a good impression of the celebration that is being broadcast to the whole world."
El-Sisi's promises to bring stability have come amid heavy clampdown on dissent.

Several number of prominent secular activists have been imprisoned, while un-authorised protests have been banned.

Yesterday hundreds of football fans ignored the leader's diktat, setting off firecrackers and waved banners at a rally inside a Cairo park.

The event commemorate the deaths of 22 people killed in clashes last year between the police and fans of the Zamalek football club.

No comments: