Egypt raises price of bread by 300%

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Egypt gets a significant amount of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine, so the war there is a legitimate contributing factor. I’m not saying reckless spending on other projects isn’t also a factor, but that war is a real problem for grain supplies throughout the region.


Some useful context for those who are curious:
5 Egyptian Piastres is about $0.11 USD
20 EGP is about $0.42 USD.

The average monthly salary is only something like $430 USD though.


I think that you left off a zero. 20 piastres is about 4 cents, not 40. The crazy thing is that 20 piastres was worth closer to 30 cents just a decade ago.

(EGP is Egyptian Pound, and the pound is subdivided into 100 piastres.)


Right you are. I got EGP (Egyptian Pounds) and Paistres mixed up when using the currency converter.

So even given the relatively low income of Egyptians maybe this change won’t have a major impact for many people.


It’s amazing (ETA: in a good way, wonderful) that the government is subsidizing bread in the first place, but the currency losing 80% of its value in a decade must be devastating.

In US money, they were actually paying more for bread a decade ago, but that’s small consolation when your salary is in local currency.


Why nothing bad ever happened to people in power over the price of bread… nothing at all!

France Bastille GIF

True! But what’s really weird to think of is that part of the reason Napoleon invaded Egypt, was because of bread shortages and at the time, Egypt had a surplus!

Dictators suck at running economies. :woman_shrugging:


Egypt spending like a drunk sailor. The plight of the poor doesn’t register.


Is it really that unusual? A lot of countries heavily subsidize gasoline, which is a lot more problematic. I’m sure that the Egyptian government has many, many serious flaws but trying to make sure that people can afford basic food staples is probably something that more countries ought to do, not less.


Oh, I meant amazing in a good way.


“Do you want bread riots? Because this is how you get bread riots…”


“…the currency has lost a whole third of it’s value.”

Oh no! A third of it is value!

(Natalie. You’re doing this in every article.)

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I’d be curious whether the poor are actually being specifically considered in the plans to build a ‘New Administrative Capital’ with a greenfield layout, relatively expensive housing, and ‘smart city’ surveillance features.

It could, of course, just be someone’s white elephant vanity project; but moving admin and command and control away from the massively crowded organic sprawl and to the comparatively sparsely populated and custom built zone isn’t a terribly illogical move if you want to reduce the risk of the mob breaking through somewhere important and increase the amount of time you can maintain your operations while the primary population center is being fighty.


The New Administrative Capital is surely both a vanity project and an uprising-proof government centre far away from the plebs, ensuring that Sisi won’t be overthrown the way Mubarak was. Compare Naypyidaw in Myanmar, which is definitely both.

I imagine that Sisi is just waiting for the right time to organise an astroturf campaign to name the city after himself.


Reputedly the subsidies mostlty benefit people who are not poor.


“For how much bread?” I wondered…

From the linked article at Middle East Eye :

Even though its price has remained constant for decades, the size of a loaf of subsidised bread, also known as the “bread of the poor”, has gradually decreased from 150 grams to 90 grams.

150 grams = 5.29109 ounces
90 grams = 3.17466 ounces


Shrinkflation as official government policy.


I’m wondering if Egypt has taken a leaf out of our local Co-Op’s book.
Just before the pandemic, an average (bloody average, if you ask me) loaf was £1.10.
You’d be lucky to get the same loaf for less than £3 now.

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