Activists slam Egypt government for spending 1.7m pounds on teargas amidst financial crisis

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 23, 2013 11:40 hrs

Various activists have slammed Egyptian government for purchasing 140,000 canisters of teargas worth 1.7 million pounds at a time when foreign reserves are at critically low and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan has been delayed

Egypt's interior ministry made the emergency order at the end of January, according to records retrieved, the Guardian reports.

It came at the start of a week of civil unrest sparked by protests against President Mohamed Morsi, his Muslim Brotherhood, and police malpractice, it reported.

Opposition activists have questioned the government's willingness to buy the teargas at a time when Egypt's foreign reserves have more than halved since 2011, the government has run out of money to pay for fuel subsidies, and officials have yet to agree the details of a much-needed and much-delayed IMF loan worth 4.8 billion pound, the paper said.

They also see it as yet another example of the government's unwillingness to rein in the police force, whose brutality was a major cause of the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and whose behaviour has come under renewed scrutiny this year.

Hussein Abdel Ghany, a spokesman for the National Salvation Front, a disparate collection of non-Islamist opposition parties said it is the same tactics the Mubarak regime used i.e. spending taxpayers' money to kill the sons of taxpayers

Ghany added at the same time they're cutting gas subsidies and raising taxes on cigarettes, which the only way some people get any joy.

Teargas has been repeatedly used during protests this year, at times rendering it unsafe to navigate thoroughfares in downtown Cairo that lie several streets from the clashes.

At one point in January, Tahrir Doctors, a group of volunteer medics who treat protesters hurt in clashes, warned that teargas in Tahrir Square had reached dangerous levels, the paper reported. (ANI)

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