Egypt. According to
countryaah, the Egyptian economy showed no signs of recovery
and in the autumn, important commodities ended in business.
The sugar shortage became a symbol of the difficult economic
situation that led to the government implementing major
austerity measures. The result was, among other things,
sharply raised prices for food, electricity and gasoline,
which created great frustration among sections of the
population. In fact, about 40% of Egyptians live in poor
conditions, which makes them vulnerable even to small price
Since President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi took power in 2014,
Egypt has received generous contributions from Yellow Flags
like Saudi Arabia, but after Egypt voted in September for a
Russian resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council,
Saudi oil company Saudi Aramco stopped its deliveries to
Egypt, contrary to a previous agreement on continued
deliveries for five years. Earlier in the year, grand plans
were announced for a bridge construction between Saudi
Arabia and Egypt, which also agreed to transfer two islands
in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia in exchange for a large aid
and investment package. Both agreements were met with harsh
criticism and in June the decision on the islands was
rejected by a district court.
Among other things, the UN and Amnesty International
expressed repeated concerns about the human rights situation
in Egypt. Several human rights organizations were forced to
close or have their assets frozen. According to Amnesty,
three to four people disappeared daily in the country, and
according to a report presented by the organization in July,
several hundred people were reported to have been removed
and tortured by security forces over the past year.
Prior to the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the
January 25 revolt, Egyptian security forces conducted raids
on, for example, book publishers, theater venues and art
galleries. Several thousands of private individuals had
their homes scanned.
Press freedom was described to be in sharp decline and
several journalists were arrested during the year. According
to the Committee to Protect Journalists organization, at
least four journalists were convicted of disseminating false
information. Several journalists were arrested and detained
or imprisoned. In October, three journalists were arrested
while conducting a survey interview on a proposal by
President al-Sisi that all Egyptians should donate their
small money in bank accounts to the Egyptian state. The
journalists were accused of sympathizing with the banned
Muslim Brotherhood, for disseminating false information and
for giving Egypt a bad reputation in Turkish TV channels.
Later, reports came out that journalists had been tortured
in the detention center.
In March, Justice Minister Ahmed al-Zind was forced to
leave his post after he said in a television interview that
he would imprison Prophet Muhammad if he broke the law.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in July, an unusual meeting seen
as a sign of improved relations between the two neighboring
During the year, several attacks were directed at the
police and tourist destinations. In May, 13 policemen were
killed in a grenade attack at a roadblock in Sinai, an
attack that the Islamic State (IS) was believed to be
behind. In another attack on a hotel in the tourist resort
of Hurghada, a Swedish tourist, among other things, knives.
The Egyptian tourism industry, which is one of the oldest in
the world, was severely affected by the poor security
situation. In March, a domestic airplane on its way from
Alexandria to Cairo was hijacked and in May another setback
to the severely affected tourism industry occurred when a
passenger plane crashed in the Mediterranean on its way from
Paris to Cairo. President al-Sisi finally admitted that it
had been a terrorist act that led to a Russian passenger
plane crashing across the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015.
al-Sisi was one of the few leaders who before the US
presidential election in November made a positive statement
about the disputed presidential candidate Donald Trump, who
was later elected US president.