Egypt: IMF loan threatens Egyptian demand for bread

1. M/S of protester leading chant

2. M/S of protesters chanting together

3. W/S of crowd of protesters

4. C/U of sign and pita bread held together

5. C/U of sign

6. W/S of signs and crowds

7. M/S of SOT, Hussein Abdel Ghani, Eqypt Salvation Front Leader (speaking Arabic): “Our aim is to protest and prevent IMF delegation’s visit, and to refuse taking loans from them because it will be the Egyptian people who will have to pay it back and the state’s independence will suffer from the loans. We consider loans as a good way for more poverty, suffering and disasters.”

8. W/S of crowd

9. C/U of sign

10. M/S protester leading chant

11. C/U of sign

SCRIPT

Egypt: IMF loan threatens Egyptian demand for bread

Protesters in Cairo came together Wednesday, to rally against a possible €3.75 billion (.8 billion) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is said to implement harsh economic reforms on the state. Egyptian Planning Minister Ashraf El Araby has said the government will reach a final agreement with the IMF “within two weeks.”

The Popular Socialist Alliance (PSA) and Egyptian Popular Current both issued statements rejecting the planned loan before marching from the Egyptian High Court at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT) down Cairo’s Qasr al-Ayni street. “The alliance reaffirms its rejection of the economic policies that the cabinet of [Prime Minister] Quandil insists on taking,” read the statement. The statement also accused the Muslim Brotherhood of embracing the same economic and political policies of former president, Hosni Mubarak.

The loan will implement economic reforms including cutting subsidies in Egyptian government spending, which is one of the IMF’s critical conditions. However, the Egyptian Center for the Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), has said that such conditions target mostly the poorest class of Egyptians. Hussein Abdel Ghani, the Eqypt Salvation Front Leader, said at the protest (speaking Arabic), “Our aim is to protest and prevent IMF delegation’s visit, and to refuse taking loans from them because it will be the Egyptian people who will have to pay it back and the state’s independence will suffer from the loans. We consider loans as a good way for more poverty, suffering and disasters.”

The Egyptian people, protesting with pita breads in their hands, still yell for the same set of demands as when the revolution began two years ago, the demand for bread, freedom and social justice.

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