The spike in inflation is squeezing people like never before.
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When talk-show host Amr Adib went on Egyptian TV to beg food companies to cut prices, he sounded an apocalyptic note.Egypt's government keeps media on a tight leash, so the message probably had official backing.The International Monetary Fund has spelled out what Egypt needs to do to finalize a $12 billion deal: act on the exchange rate and subsidies – code words, economists and investors agree, for devaluing the pound and removing caps on fuel prices. Sisi's government presents the IMF loan as proof that Egypt's open for business again, after six years of turmoil. Shenety said the IMF-backed measures could push inflation above 20 percent.That's been achieved, officials said Thursday: Egypt has the $6 billion that the fund required, with a third of it coming from the Saudis. The funds are needed to bolster foreign reserves, which are down by more than 40 percent from end-2010 levels.Those may add to public dissatisfaction with a government has already imposed a new value-added tax and raised electricity prices by almost 50 percent.
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