The Egyptian president is defending the tough economic measures his government has undertaken, saying there was no other alternative in the face of deteriorating economy.
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi says that “structural reforms” are an imperative for Egypt and that the measures that have been implemented are no “picnic.”
Sisi spoke on Thursday to a gathering of clerics ahead of a major Islāmic holiday.
Sisi’s remarks were his first since the government’s unprecedented floatation of the Egyptian pound last month, meant to make sure that Egypt qualifies for a 12 billion dollar loan from the IMF.
Elected in 2014, Sisi depended on billions of dollars of help from Gulf Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia but relations with the Sunni kingdom have become strained recently over regional crises, including the conflict in Syria.