Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi declared massive tax increases but then repealed them due to overwhelming backlash from the public within a 24-hour period.
Late Friday, new taxes were introduced for soda, cigarettes, beer, advertisements, real estate, and a host of other things. These were massive tax increases — the taxes on cigarettes alone would have raised the price 50% over retail.
The public outcry was so great and so immediate that reports indicate “less than 24 hours after unveiling a heap of new taxes, the New Pharoah of Egypt reversed course.”
There are two ways to take this, one positive and one not. On a positive note, this makes Morsi look like he and his government will now listen to the people, giving the Egyptian people somewhat of a check on his actions going forth.
If that’s not the case and this was just an aberration, the negative implications of this are the Egyptian people are now in limbo. They can’t know what’s coming next because Morsi is ruling on a whim — some of those whims will be taken back (within 24 hours) and some may not.
Regardless of which of these two longer views is true, for now Morsi looks fickle and confused.