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Égypt-actus
Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Bakery owners decry new system

Bakery owners decry new system | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Bread shortages are not new to Egypt, with the most acute crisis of the not-so-distant past occurring in 2008. Since then, shortages of the vital food supply have been recurring, and, at times, the army has been deployed to deliver the gap in supply. (...)

Subsidized bread is priced at 5 piasters, and is a staple food item for the country’s lower- and middle-class citizens. At times of crisis, this segment, which represents 80 percent of the population, suffers endless queues and fatal fights over bread.

Often, the government has blamed the supply shortages on black market bread sales, as well as the smuggling of flour and wheat, blaming bakery owners and accusing them of profiteering.

In what the ministry is selling as a bid to curb black market sales and ensure that subsidies reach target beneficiaries, a new policy has been created, whereby subsidies on key ingredients have been lifted, thus removing incentives for bakers to trade them on the black market. Private bakeries are being asked to sign on to the new contracts.

But it has been a hard sell. On 19 March, hundreds of bakery owners stormed the Supply and Internal Trade Ministry in downtown Cairo, protesting the new policy, as well as the rise in prices of gasoline, diesel and flour. Their most significant complaint is the raising of the cost of production of one sack of flour from LE80 to LE120.

They say the government, the sole supplier of wheat and other ingredients used in bread making, is looking to lay the burden of lifting subsidies on bakers, as well as failing to consider the actual production cost.


Omar Halawa / Egypt independent

More : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/bakery-owners-decry-new-system


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Egypt bread protests begin after rationing announced

Egypt bread protests begin after rationing announced | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Hundreds of Egyptian bakers blocked roads in Cairo on Tuesday in reaction to a government plan to ration bread.

They descended on the Supply Ministry to protest diesel shortages and rising fuel and flour prices, the Egypt Independent said.

Bakers are under increased pressure with rising costs and shortages while trying to survive under Egypt’s long-held policy of subsidizing bread and fuel prices.

Global Post

More : http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/130320/cairo-egypt-bread-protests-rationing-fuel-shortage?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co

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Hundreds of bakers storm Supply Ministry again

Hundreds of bakers storm Supply Ministry again | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
  Hundreds of bakery owners stormed into the headquarters of the Supply Ministry in Cairo, blocking Qasr al-Aini Street on Tuesday.
Egypt-actus's insight:
Hundreds of bakery owners stormed into the headquarters of the Supply Ministry in Cairo, blocking Qasr al-Aini Street on Tuesday. The protesters managed to reach the gate leading to the minister's office to protest the shortage of diesel, and the rise in the prices of gasoline, diesel and flour.

Security forces evacuated the ministry building.

Central Security Forces were deployed to prevent the protesters from breaking into the minister's office. The protesters chanted, "Bassem Ouda... loser, loser" and "Down with Mohamed Morsy, down with Bassem Ouda.”

They said that they will not leave until their demands are met in a meeting between the minister and Abdallah Ghorab, head of the bakery owners division at the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

 

(Al-Masry Al-Youm / Egypt independent)

More : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/hundreds-bakers-storm-supply-ministry-again

 

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Egypt warns bakers against strike action

Egypt warns bakers against strike action | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

Egyptian bakers will face legal action if they carry out a threat to strike, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Bassem Ouda said, raising the stakes in a dispute linked to state bread subsidies.

The prospect of a bakers' strike has compounded a sense of economic crisis in a country where a drop in foreign currency reserves has already caused fuel shortages and raised the potential for more social unrest.

Ouda told Egypt state TV that a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling gave the ministry the power to close indefinitely bakeries that halt production and refer their owners to the criminal court.

(Reuters, via Aswat Masriya)


More : http://en.aswatmasriya.com/news/view.aspx?id=8c9c59ad-459d-48c1-8b06-dd5f45894e5a

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Bakery owners storm Supply Ministry

Hundreds of bakery owners stormed the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade building on Qasr al-Ain Street downtown Cairo demanding to meet with the minister Bassem Kamal.

 

Protestors came from several governorates, including Giza, Cairo, Alexandria, Monufiya and Qalyubiya. They chanted “Bassem Kamal is a failure,” “Bread, freedom, we are not thieves,” and “the Brotherhood’s loaf [of bread] is void and the elections’ loaf is void.”

 

Ministry security negotiated with the protesters, convince them to stay out of the ministry building, as the leading officials were not present but had travelled to Sohag accompanying the president on his visit to the governorate.

 

Protesters retreated after a few verbal altercations with the officers. They continued their protest in front of the ministry headquarters, and blocked off one side of Qasr al-Aini Street causing traffic delays.

 

 

 

Late last month, bakery owners postponed a strike. State bakeries nationwide are angry over the increasing cost of diesel fuel, unpaid bonuses and plans to lift grain as well as plans to lift flour subsidies.


Almasry Alyoum, via Egypt.com

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Bakers delay strike, expect to meet Qandil next week

Bakers delay strike, expect to meet Qandil next week | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Bakers who have threatened a strike that could affect the staple diet of the nation's poor said a meeting they had hoped to hold with the prime minister on Thursday would not take place until next week.

Abdullah Ghorab, the head of the bakers' association, said earlier this week he intended to meet Prime Minister Hesham Qandil on Thursday to discuss their demands, but late in the day he said the meeting had yet to be arranged.

"We are waiting for the prime minister," he said, adding he now expected the meeting would be held early next week. There would be no decision on strike action until then, he added.

Ghorab heads an association representing 25,000 private-sector bakeries, most of which bake loaves that sell for 5 piastres, or less than 1 US cent.

The prospect of a bakers' strike has compounded a sense of economic crisis in a country where a drop in foreign currency reserves has already caused fuel shortages and raised the potential for more social unrest.

 

Reuters, via Egypt independent

More : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/bakers-delay-strike-expect-meet-qandil-next-week

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Bakers become latest victims of Egypt subsidy cuts

Bakers become latest victims of Egypt subsidy cuts | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The bakers' concerns are by no means unique in Egypt this week. For decades, the state has subsidised the cost of food and fuel – essential in a country where around one in four live below the poverty line. But a severe economic crisis has forced the Islamist-led government to not only cut subsidies but also to introduce rationing. On Tuesday, ministers announced plans to introduce a smart-card system that limits each citizen to three small loaves a day.

The card scheme will be trialled in two cities, but Egyptian authorities are unlikely to be able to roll it out nationwide in the near future. In a country where bread is for millions the only significant source of sustenance, there are fears that would trigger a so-called revolution of the hungry and turn the pockets of unrest that Egypt has experienced over the past six weeks into something more widespread.

 

Patrick Kingsley / The Guardian

More : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/19/bakers-egyptian-subsidy-cuts

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Minister threatens to sue striking bakers

Minister threatens to sue striking bakers | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Al-Masry Al-Youm 

All "reckless" bakeries that respond to calls for civil disobedience will be shut down, warned Supply Minister Bassem Ouda on Monday.

 “And I will sue all bakers objecting to the new policy for baking bread,” he threatened.

Ouda made his statements during a meeting with owners of oil, rice, pasta and sugar factories. The meeting was intended to discuss best practices for producing  high-quality goods for ration cards at prices low and middle income classes can afford, in order to achieve social justice.

The debate between Ouda and bakery owners has been ongoing since the government started implementing a new subsidy system in February. The government says the system will save LE11 billion annually by making it more difficult for whole ingredients like wheat to be sold on the black market.

 

More : http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/minister-threatens-sue-striking-bakers

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Egypt warns bakers against strike action

Egypt warns bakers against strike action | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egyptian bakers will face legal action if they carry out a threat to strike, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Bassem Ouda said, raising the stakes in a dispute linked to state bread subsidies.

The prospect of a bakers' strike has compounded a sense of economic crisis in a country where a drop in foreign currency reserves has already caused fuel shortages and raised the potential for more social unrest.

Ouda told Egypt state TV that a Supreme Constitutional Court ruling gave the ministry the power to close indefinitely bakeries that halt production and refer their owners to the criminal court.

"If it happens that they undertake this type of irresponsible step and halt production in 100 or 1,000 bakeries, we are ready with an emergency plan," Ouda said on Monday.

The state has long helped fund bread production, with the cheapest loaves selling for 5 piastres, or less than 1 U.S. cent

Bakers say the government owes them 400 million Egyptian pounds ($59 million) in incentives they are due for producing state-subsidised bread for the poor. Neither the government spokesman nor officials at the supplies ministry were available to comment on the bakers' claims.

The government, which is seeking a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, is under pressure to curb spending on food and fuel subsidies that swallow up around a quarter of the state budget.

A bakers' association representing 25,000 privately run bakeries had threatened to strike last month, but postponed the move until mid-March to give the government time to meet their demands.

Bakers' representatives are due to meet Ouda on Tuesday, said Abdullah Ghorab, the association's head. About 260 bakeries briefly went on strike last week but were persuaded to return to work pending more talks, he said.

 

More on: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/19/worldupdates/egypt-warns-bakers-against-strike-action&sec=Worldupdates

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