Egypt’s president says no more privatization

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi says that there will be no further privatization of state-owned companies.

Egypt’s economy is hard hit by the more than two years of turmoil since the ouster of longtime president Hosni Mubarak in a mass uprising in 2011. Losses to the vital tourism sector have depleted government revenues and public sector companies are an additional burden on the budget.

In a Tuesday speech on the eve of May Day, Morsi — an Islamist from the Muslim Brotherhood group — said there would be no selling of the public sector. He did not specify whether this was a temporary or permanent measure.

Egypt privatized key companies in the 1990s under Mubarak but the program stalled in recent years. Critics say the sales were tainted by corruption.

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