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Egypt Set for Costlier Consumer Goods on Energy Prices

Egyptians braced for what many expected to be steep increases in prices of consumer goods after the government raised energy prices as much as 78 percent to pare a costly and often abused subsidy system.

Egypt’s premier, Ibrahim Mahlab, defended the price increases at a news conference yesterday, saying they were imperative to the government’s “war” on poverty and a way to achieve “justice” in a system that long benefited the wealthy at the expense of the poor. The increase could prove to be the first major test of whether President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi secured a strong enough voter mandate to tackle an issue that successive governments had shied from, fearing a backlash.