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Egypt's President defends rise in fuel prices and cigarette, alcohol taxes

Published on Jul 6, 2014 11:49 PM

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday defended a government decision to raise fuel prices as the authorities also slapped higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, state media reported.

Late Friday, the authorities decided to slash state subsidies on petrol and diesel, sparking anger among taxi drivers.

In a meeting with newspaper editors and television channel representatives, Mr Sisi said the decision had to be taken because of the country's debts, the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper's website reported.

With the economy battered by three years of unrest, successive governments have said subsidies - that meant petrol in Egypt was among the world's cheapest - must be lifted.

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