Egypt's government announces austerity measures

CAIRO (AP) " Egypt has decreed a cut of up to 20 percent in government expenditure, a move its prime minister says is needed to set an example to follow during a biting economic crisis.

A Cabinet statement issued Thursday says the government also has decreed a 50 percent cut in the number of ministerial representatives in Egyptian embassies, saying diplomats will take up their tasks instead.

The statement quoted Prime Minister Sherif Ismail as saying the cuts in government expenditure would not touch salaries or money set aside for development or investment. He did not say how much money these measures would save.

Egypt's economy is enduring its worst crisis in decades, with a ballooning domestic and foreign debt, double digit inflation and unemployment rates and a steadily weakening currency.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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