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Confusion in Egypt's finance, trade ministries

Business Materials 31 January 2011 16:39
There was confusion Monday at two key Egyptian ministries as the man appointed to the finance ministry said he would not take up the job and the trade minister refused to join the new government.
Confusion in Egypt's finance, trade ministries

There was confusion Monday at two key Egyptian ministries as the man appointed to the finance ministry said he would not take up the job and the trade minister refused to join the new government.

Gawdat al-Malt, from the Central Auditing Agency, was appointed to replace Yousef Boutrous Ghali as finance minister. Al-Malt has, at times, been critical of government spending policies.

But sources close to al-Malt told the German Press Agency dpa that he would not take the job.

Ghali is the nephew of former United Nations secretary general Boutrous Boutrous Ghali, and his economic policies were often disliked by Egypt's working and middle classes. He has refused to join the new government.

Meanwhile, the trade minister, Rachid Mohammed Rachid - with a liberal commerce policy - said he would not join the new government.

Egypt has seen its bonds downgraded by rating agencies, the costs of insuring against its debts have risen and banks will remain closed through Tuesday, as anti-government protests continue.

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