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Egypt's Sisi says it is 'necessary' to increase subsidised bread prices

Sixty million Egyptians are allocated five loaves a day of bread under the subsidy programme
Raising agent: Sisi did not specify when the increase will come into place but described the move as 'necessary' for the country (Reuters).

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said it was "necessary" to increase the price of the country's subsidised bread on Tuesday.

Sixty million Egyptians are part of the bread subsidy programme and allocated five loaves of bread a day, with each loaf costing 0.05 Egyptian pounds ($0.0032). 

During the opening of a food production facility, Sisi did not specify how much the bread would increase but complained of the price.

"It is time for the five piaster loaf to increase in price... it's incredible to sell 20 loaves for the price of a cigarette," said Sisi.  

"Some might tell me to leave this to the prime minister, to the supply minister (to raise the price), but no, I will do it in front of my country and my people." 

He added: I'm not saying we make it significantly more expensive, to as high as it costs to make it, 65 or 60 piasters, but (increasing the price) is necessary."

"Nothing stays stagnant like this for 20 or 30 years, with people saying that this number can't be touched."

Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer, and bread is a highly sensitive issue for the country. 
 
Nearly five years ago, angry demonstrations erupted across Egypt after the government cut bread subsidies amid an economic crisis. 

Deadly riots also broke out in 1977 across Egypt when the government decided to cut bread subsidies.