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Egyptian minister responds to controversial proposal on expat salaries

Egyptian Minister of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriates Affairs Soha al-Gendy responded on Sunday to a controversial proposal regarding the salaries of Egyptians working abroad.

The head of the Wafd Party, Abdel-Sanad Yamama, sparked outrage on Wednesday after he proposed issuing a law that includes expatriates transferring 20 percent of their monthly income in foreign currency to Egyptian banks support the country’s economy.

Gendy assured in statements reported by the Saudi Al-Arabiya news channel website that “remittances belong to Egyptians abroad.”

She added that the Egyptian state does not interfere at all in the remittances of Egyptians at home or abroad.

The Ministry of Immigration motivates Egyptians abroad to associate with Egypt in various ways, she said, stressing that the rights of Egyptian citizens abroad are fully preserved.

Egyptian expatriates send back billions of dollars a year in remittances, an important source of hard currency.

The Suez Canal, remittances from Egyptians living abroad, and the tourism sector are the main sources of foreign currency coming into the country.

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