During two parliamentary sessions on Saturday and Monday, the head of Egypt's Central Auditing Agency warned of growing public anger and blamed Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif's government for a rise in the poverty rate from 20% to 23.4% over the last two years.
CAA chief Gawdat El Malt was drawn into arguments over his annual report with Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali and Ahmed Ezz, chairman of the People's Assembly. El Malt, the country's fiscal watchdog, also criticized the government for high inflation, which rose from 5% in 2005 to 16.2% in 2009. Egypt is ranked 82nd among the poorest 135 countries in the world.
"Most citizens are unable to support such staggering price rises," El Malt said, accusing the finance minister of policies that spur citizens to take to the streets in protest. He said the government has "lost the confidence of people because it doesn’t care about poor Egyptians. ... You have to contain the anger of these classes because they constitute the majority of Egyptians."