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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Egypt IMF Loan Delayed Ahead Of Vote

Amanda Martinez |
December 11, 2012 | 9:59 a.m. PST

Executive Producer


Protesters stage opposition rallies four days ahead of the referendum. (Twitpic via Ghada Egyptology)
Protesters stage opposition rallies four days ahead of the referendum. (Twitpic via Ghada Egyptology)
A $4.8 billion International Monetary Fund loan to Egypt will be delayed until January in order to allow time to explain the reforms to the Egyptian people, said the country's finance minister Tuesday.

As part of the economic reform, the country faced planned tax increases for items like cigarettes and cooking oil, as well as a variety of goods and services. Fines would also be set for public littering. 

The tax package faced heavy criticism from the public, forcing President Mohamed Morsi to back down Monday on the tax increases and ultimately delaying the loan "in light of the unfolding developments on the ground."

Prime Minister Hisham Kandil said there would be a national dialogue about the program within the next week, yet the delay comes at a time of increasing political turmoil.

Crowds continued to gather Tuesday in Cairo for rival rallies ahead of Saturday's vote to ratify a new constitution.

At least six different anti-government marches are expected throughout the day, with several hundred anti-Morsi protesters already gathered at the palace. Opposition groups include liberals, secularists and supporters of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. All reject the draft constitution put forth by Morsi and his Islamist-led panel.

Morsi-supporters marched 20 minutes away, toward Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, chanting and waving the flags of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The protests come just hours after masked assailants staged a predawn attack, injuring eleven after opening-fire in Tahrir Square. Although security officials weren't clear who the assailants were, the targets were protesters who have camped out at Tahrir for three weeks.

Morsi has extended police power to the Republican Guard until the referendum, allowing it to arrest civilians in an effort to limit further violence.

For more of Neon Tommy's Egypt coverage click here.

Reach Executive Producer Amanda Martinez here.




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