This summer we got sexy for Marassi. This winter, we will get screwed for the IMF.
Egypt's brand spanking new $12 billion IMF loan, is not without strings attached. It's like many strings, banded together, to form a noose, actually.
The three-year loan package is intended at its core to salvage an economy battered by inflation, a dollar crisis, and economic stagnation, and to help restore the confidence of foreign investors - though our new residence law might help do the latter as well. The agreement aims to “improve the functioning of foreign exchange markets, bring down the budget deficit and government debt, and to raise growth and create jobs,” IMF Egypt delegation head Chris Jarvis said.
Photo by The Cairo Post
This morning, we woke up to giant billboards plastered all over the city telling us of how - with this sexy new IMF loan - we can boost our exports and increase our resources. YES WE CAN!
But this loan comes with austerity measures, which are about to radically affect the daily lives and expenses of the majority of the population. IMF loans are known to often be roped to controversial and unpopular methods to 'discipline' economies - and this latest one is no different. The price of fuel is about the skyrocket, VAT is supposed to be introduced, and electricity prices may go up by 40%. It is a horror movie in the making.
But luckily, you've got us to help you navigate the tricky terrain of monetary strangulation. Here are some friendly suggestions from the staff over at CairoScene to help you deal with these newly introduced fiscal regulations.
All of our blessed advice will essentially help you get sexy for the IMF, just like you got for Marassi earlier this summer.
Candles are romantic. They set the mood. Yes, they may be a fire hazard but that small chance that your house may or may not burn down is nothing in comparison to the very real reality that having the lights in your house will mean you probably can't pay for your kid's school tuition, what with electricity prices set to increase by 40%. Plus who knows? You might finally get laid because in the dark you don't have to see your husband's face and you can pretend it's Chris Hemsworth.
Now there is one very small, but very important caveat to this whole electricity prices getting higher than Robert Downey Jr before he went to rehab situation and that is: people without fridges. The Egyptian Minister of Electricity, Dr. Mohamed Shaker Shaker, was quick to reassure Egyptians about the 40% hike in electricity prices, saying that "Those who do not have fridges, their usage will not exceed the 50 kW, anyway." Because who needs a fucking fridge anyway? We've always liked our milk a little warm; we hate fresh eggs; and don't even get us started on non-rotten meat.
We rarely get to take on Cairo on foot. It's a shame, a damn shame, that we don't get to navigate our streets on our own two feet. The Egyptian government is not only planning to end fuel subsidies within the coming three years but also increase fuel prices to 65 percent of their cost during the 2016/17 fiscal year, according to Reuters, finally giving us the chance to leave our fuel-driven vehicles at home and get some not so fresh air. To be honest, we think this was a magnanimous move on the part of the IMF because they want us to experience our nation the way we experience pizza; up close and very personal. Now, perhaps you have a lengthy commute and it would be tough to walk. You can always take the metro because it's also much less harmful to the environment. On no wait, metro prices are going up by 400%. LOL, our bad. Just walk it. Good for your physique. We're overweight as a nation anyway.
Perfectly in line with your now daily walks or marathons to get from one place to another since you can no longer afford gas for your car, will be your newfound diet, starting now. Since the price of virtually everything is going up, this would be a really good time for you to stop buying those stupid things you call groceries and instead live off breadsticks if you can still pay for them. We don't know.
"The only love you need is the love of your country." No? Not a real quote? Well whatever, it's fucking true. You will never know the love of any other person because you will never be able to afford to get married because everything is so fucking expensive.