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New finance minister: Egypt to stimulate economy, shun austerity

Published: Updated:

Egypt interim government will seek to avoid major austerity measures and instead stimulate the economy by improving security and pumping in new funds, the newly appointed finance minister, Ahmed Galal, said on Thursday.

Galal, sworn in last week after the military ousted Islamist President Mohammed Mursi, inherits a budget deficit equivalent to almost half of state spending, but has been armed with $12billion from Gulf Arab countries that welcomed Mursi’s removal.

“We will seek to pump more new funds into the economy and not follow austerity measures,” Galal told reporters at a briefing. “We do not want to increase taxes sharply, that is if we increase them at all, and we do not want to lower spending in a way that will slow a revival of the economy.”