Egypt's leader raises minimum wage to 2,000 EGP from 1,200

Egypt's leader raises minimum wage to 2,000 EGP from 1,200
FILE - In this April 3, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump will meet with El-Sissi next month at the White House. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi says he has raised the minimum wage to 2,000 Egyptian pounds (.74) per month from 1,200 (.27).

He says in televised comments Saturday that the raise is intended to ease the burdens on Egyptians hurt by painful austerity measures in recent years.

The measures were part of an ambitious economic reform program intended to revive the country’s economy mauled by years of political turmoil and violence.

The reforms included floating the currency, substantial cuts in state subsidies, and introducing a wide range of new taxes. The reforms were agreed on with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a billion loan.

The measures led to a significant rise in prices and services, something critics say has hurt the poor and middle class the hardest.