Wednesday’s papers: Bread prices, Ramadan traffic and Egypt’s fifth president

In state-owned Al-Akhbar as well as Al-Ahram, bread prices top the front page of both papers.

“No increase in the price of subsidized bread,” Al-Akhbar writes. The paper adds, from the mouth of Egypt’s premiere, Ahmed Nazif, that the state will absorb any increase in international prices of wheat. Nazif also pledged that the government will take steps to guarantee the sufficiency of food supplies during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Al-Ahram's headline reads: "No Change in subsidized bread prices under any conditions." It adds that the government has reached an agreement to buy 240,000 tons of wheat from France. Egypt produces six million tons of wheat per year, compared to a yearly consumption rate of 12 million. The crisis began one week ago when Russia, Egypt’s main wheat supplier, suddenly announced a ban on exporting wheat.

In its top story Al-Shorouq, independent daily, declares that the US is ready to cover Egypt’s demand for wheat. The paper says the US government is ready to cover the shortage of wheat in the Egyptian market in its entirely, according to a statement by Margret Scobey, US Ambassador to Egypt, who confirmed that the US has a sufficient supply of wheat ready to be exported. Al-Akhbar reports that there will be campaigns to monitor the prices of food commodities during Ramadan.

Under the same report, the Ministry of the Interior said it will concentrate its presence on main streets and at squares to prevent traffic jams from forming. The metro system will run until 2:15 AM, adding an additional two hours of transportation time during Ramadan.

A Cairo traffic jam features in the main photo on the front page of Al-Shorouq. With the headline “Cairo is blocked in the face of cars,” the paper reports that the traffic flow was completely frozen on most streets yesterday, especially 6th of October bridge, 15th May bridge, and Al-Azhar tunnel, which was closed for an hour to alleviate the blockage.

Al-Wafd, opposition party newspaper, quotes on its front page Egypt’s parliamentary speaker as saying, “The Wafd party’s quest for guarantees for free-elections would suit as a draft new law to be voted on in parliament." Fathi Sorour, the speaker in question, said he also expects that opposition parties will have a bigger representation as an outcome of the upcoming October elections. In the independent Al-Dostour weekly special edition, a headline runs: “Egypt is waiting for its coming president.”

The newspaper publishes the pictures of Egypt’s former presidents, including current President Hosni Mubarak, in four frames, leaving the fifth frame empty. The pictures of the presidents themselves send an obvious message, as the presidents are all shown clothed in military attire.

“Gamal Mubarak’s businessmen's club puts pressure on Mubarak to step down,” reads the title to the report that follows, which asserts that Mubarak Junior's attempts to market himself as Egypt’s next president are failing. The newspaper, which is known for its anti-Mubarak tone, has for a long time criticized any potential transfer of power from Egypt's current president to his son, Gamal.

Independent Nahdet Misr, reports that Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights is preparing to monitor the elections. The human rights council, a state-affiliated consultation body, are studying the tools needed to contribute to monitoring Egypt’s coming elections.

Egypt is awaiting parliamentary elections to be held in two months, and independent human rights organizations as well as opposition parties fear the National Democratic Party’s interference in the running of the elections.

Egypt's papers:

Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt

Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size

Al-Gomhorriya: Daily, state-run

Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run, close to the National Democratic Party's Policies Secretariat

Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned

Al-Shorouq: Daily, privately owned

Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party

Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Arab Nasserist party

Youm7: Weekly, privately owned

Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned

Related Articles

Back to top button