Egypt’s Sisi leads an opulent life regardless of austerity measures – Center East Monitor

A number of days in the past, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi issued a sudden resolution to cease granting meals subsidies playing cards to newly married {couples}, declaring that the subsidy has been the explanation for the state’s decades-long delay towards improvement. Sadly, this resolution was preceded 4 months in the past by an analogous resolution to chop the subsidies for bread, thereby growing the value of the commodity, which is a staple meals for Egypt’s poor.

The president appeared – as typical – very upset in regards to the measurement of the burdens borne by the federal government and demanded the nation’s poor – as typical – to bear the prices stemming from the elimination of subsidies. This they’re known as upon to do for the sake of the nation’s progress. Nonetheless, evidently the austerity slogans flaunted by Sisi are directed to the poor solely; they imply nothing to him, as he continues to benefit from the folks’s cash, shopping for new planes, and constructing luxurious palaces.

5 new presidential planes

A number of months in the past, Sisi purchased a large Boeing B747-8 luxurious airplane, a Jumbo Jet, which prices about $418 million to interchange the present presidential plane.

Sisi’s new airplane has been in Boeing’s airfields since 2012 after the German firm Lufthansa cancelled its buy order, because it was a part of a deal concluded by Lufthansa with Boeing to produce it with 20 planes. The German firm accepted 19 of them and rejected this airplane.

READ: The internal exile of Egyptian detainees

In accordance with the German Flag Assessment web site, which focuses on plane, the explanation for Lufthansa cancelling the acquisition of the Boeing B747-8 is because of two causes:

The primary is that Boeing has included the airplane in flight exams extra intensively than was agreed within the contract, along with the presence of unusual technical modifications within the airplane.

Life got here again to the B747-8 airplane after it was included within the Boeing gross sales orders final February in order that the corporate’s technicians started working the mechanical programs in July. Then, in August, the airplane took off on to Boeing Airport in Everett Washington, the place it appeared on the tarmac underneath the title “SU-EGY,” which signifies that it had turn out to be affiliated with the Egyptian authorities as a result of SU is the image of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

This image taken on March 13, 2020 exhibits an aerial view of ongoing development improvement at Egypt’s “New Administrative Capital” megaproject, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Paradoxically, the worth of this airplane is barely lower than the value of 14 jets bought by the presidency through the 30-year reign of the late President Hosni Mubarak. Their mixed worth amounted to $507 million, whereas Sadat owned two Boeing 707s, which had been gifted to him by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the ruler of the Emirates. He additionally had a helicopter given to him by former US President Jimmy Carter.

Then again, Gamal Abdel Nasser most popular to constitution a airplane for his transportation and didn’t purchase a presidential airplane through the lengthy years of his rule.

The B747-8 will substitute Egypt’s present Airbus A340-200 SU-GGG presidential plane in service since 1995.

That is the fifth presidential airplane Sisi has bought since he took workplace. He had beforehand bought 4 luxurious planes in 2016 of the “Falcon-7X” mannequin produced by the French firm Dassault Aviation, in a deal price €300 million ($354 million).

The Falcon is 23.2 meters lengthy, 2.34 meters vast and 1.88 meters excessive. It will probably carry eight passengers, aside from the cabin crew and might fly roughly 11,000 kilometres. It comes outfitted with many companies reminiscent of satellite tv for pc telephones, espresso makers, microwave ovens for heating meals, and spacious sitting and sleeping areas.

Sisi’s equation: inflation in exchange for borrowing

This deal was concluded whereas Egypt was dealing with a extreme financial disaster. Solely three months earlier than, the federal government determined to liberalize the pound’s change charge, increase the costs of petroleum merchandise, and carry subsidies on electrical energy and different important supplies in November 2016.

Thus, throughout solely seven years, through the interval of his rule, Sisi has purchased planes price $774 million. He comes to scale back the ration and bread subsidies on the pretext that there is no such thing as a cash, asking the folks to bear it, however he can’t bear to make use of presidential planes courting again to the eras of earlier regimes.

Three new presidential palaces

Since 2014, Sisi has constructed at the least three new presidential palaces and greater than ten presidential villas to be added to the 30 historic palaces and presidential relaxation homes that Egypt already owned.

The huge Sisi Palace complicated that’s being constructed within the New Administrative Capital covers ​about 2.5 million square meters. This complete space is equal to roughly 607 feddans (625.2 acres) of agricultural land. As for the presidential residence, it’s estimated to be round 50,000 sq. meters, ten occasions the scale of the White Home, which is barely 5,000 sq. meters.

Al-Sisi is constructing one other luxurious palace, within the fashion of the White Home, on the seashore within the new metropolis of El Alamein, which he determined to make as a summer time resort for the federal government to benefit from the cool Mediterranean air, as a substitute of the recent environment of Cairo.

Sisi constructed the third palace in the beginning of his reign within the navy district of Hykestep. It’s a luxurious palace containing an airstrip, inexperienced gardens and administrative buildings. Subsequent to it are 4 luxurious villas containing non-public swimming swimming pools that had been stated to be devoted to Sisi’s senior navy aides.

Al-Sisi doesn’t deny that he constructed all these palaces. In a speech delivered on 14 September 2019 he admitted: “Sure, we have now constructed palaces and can construct extra however not for myself. I am working to construct a brand new Egypt.”

In consequence, Egypt, the massive nation Sisi mentions when confronted with criticism for spending billions of kilos of public cash on presidential palaces for himself and his household, has turn out to be more and more impoverished with inadequate cash to help or present for its residents.

READ: The crime in Sisi’s Egypt is not being corrupt, it is exposing corruption


The views expressed on this report don’t essentially mirror the editorial coverage of Center East Monitor.


The views expressed on this article belong to the writer and don’t essentially mirror the editorial coverage of Center East Monitor.

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