Babylon & Beyond

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EGYPT: Dissatisfied doctors break their silence

February 2, 2008 |  5:04 pm

Thousands of doctors have voted to strike in an effort to force the government to raise their pay. Surrounded by riot police, the doctors met in the headquarters of their syndicate in downtown Cairo to protest deteriorating economic conditions.

"Strikes are our weapon against a government that ignores us," shouted protesters. Banners said: "Where are the rights of doctors? We are asking for improvement in doctors' conditions."

However, the doctors did not say when they would walk out. "There is no question that we face serious injustice," local media quoted Hamdi Sayed, the head of the doctors' syndicate, as saying. "We can't live a dignified life unless we get decent salaries."

The doctors' protest is another sign of public anger over economic problems. For more than a year, President Hosni Mubarak's government has been challenged by a series of strikes protesting inflation.

In December, real estate tax collectors slept on the road in front of the prime minister's office until the government met their demands.

— Noha El-Hennawy in Cairo.

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