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Arabic press review: Egypt contemplates new international loans

Meanwhile, strikes set to hit Lebanon hospitals over medicine shortages, and treating Jordan's obesity epidemic costs $900m annually
France's President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) pose prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace, Paris, 12 November 2021 (AFP)
France's President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi pose prior to a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on 12 November 2021 (AFP)

Egyptian parliament discusses international loans

Egypt's parliament has commenced discussing six decisions issued by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, including three relating to agreements for new international loans, according to the New Arab, a London-based newspaper.

Parliament speaker Hanafy el-Gebali referred the six decisions to the relevant parliamentary committees for study and to prepare reports on them to be approved.

Egypt's external debt had surged to $145bn at the end of December 2021, an increase of $8bn in just three months.

Gebali referred a decision to Sisi relating to the approval of a €776m ($833m) loan agreement between Egypt and France to finance the importing of 55 trains and the renewal of equipment for the Cairo metro.

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Gebali also referred another decision relating to approving the compensatory loan agreement between the Egyptian government and the Arab Monetary Fund for an estimated $373m, to support Egypt in overcoming the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Strikes to hit Lebanon hospitals

Staff at hospitals in Lebanon will protest against an acute shortage of medicines and medical supplies by going on strike next Thursday and Friday, according to the Asharq al-Awsat Saudi newspaper.

Two branches of the Lebanese Order of Physicians in Beirut and the north, in addition to the Private Hospitals Syndicate in Lebanon, announced plans to stop working next Thursday and Friday in clinics, health centres and hospitals, except for emergency cases.

The protests are aimed at the central bank and the banking sector, with organisers saying that the industrial action is because of "a rejection of the policies of the Central Bank of Lebanon and the Association of Banks in Lebanon against depositors in general, doctors, health-sector workers and hospitals".

The employees of Bint Jbeil governmental hospital have also announced the commencement of an open strike.

Jordan spends $910m a year treating obesity

A recent study showed that treating obesity in Jordan and the chronic diseases it causes costs 650m dinars annually ($910m), according to the Jordanian Alghad newspaper.

The president of al-Ahliyya Amman University, Sari Hamdan, said in a lecture on Monday at the Jordan Society for Scientific Research that the obesity rate among Jordanian women had reached 84 percent, with the rate among men reaching 80 percent.

"The study revealed that the mortality rate due to obesity is 10 percent annually," Hamdan said.

"The study ranked Jordan among the top 10 countries in the world that suffer from obesity among their citizens."

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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