Egypt’s recently elected President Abdel-Fatttah el-Sisi has announced that he will donate half of his own personal wealth, along with half of his yearly salary, towards his country’s budget.
Egypt’s economy has run amok, largely due to political uncertainty and terrorist threats, which have been two factors that contributed to the recent drastic loss in what once was a reliable and steady tourism revenue.
Sisi said Tuesday that he had asked his government to pass a new proposed budget, which would amount to the country’s largest in history at $115 billion dollars. The proposed draft held Egypt’s budget deficit at roughly twelve percent.
The budget proposal disburses massive sums of expenditures towards subsiding food and energy supplies, as well as covering pensions and social welfare programs.
Sisi recognized that his country will have to make tough choices to balance Egypt’s budget. “I found the deficit increasing, bringing our debts up to ($282 billion) only because this is the budget that won’t stir public opinion.” He continued, “I couldn’t approve it. … How long can we continue to avoid confronting our challenges and problems?” he asked.
Sisi warned that Egypt could no longer rely upon fellow Middle Eastern neighbors to right Egypt’s economically sinking ship. “I am telling you, there must be real sacrifices from every Egyptian,” he said. In hopes of setting an example for his fellow citizens, Sisi donated half of his bank account and pledged half of his salary to Egypt’s budget. President Sisi’s salary is approximately $6,000 dollars per month. “This is too much for me. I am telling you I will do two things. I will only take half of this salary. There is something else I can do. I will give up half of what I own, included [sic] what I inherited from my father, for the sake of the country.”
The Egyptian President’s total wealth is estimated at around $4.2 million dollars, including his inheritance.