The Freedoms Committee at the Press Syndicate stated Monday that the salaries of journalists and employees in press institutions dropped in value by 60%, which is a direct result of the 3 November decision to float the Egyptian pound.
The committee warned against further degradation of journalists’ conditions because of the state’s recently adopted economic policies, which included an increase in fuel prices.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board approved a $12bn, three-year extended fund facility (EFF) to Egypt on Friday to support the country’s economic reform programme. The loan repayment will take place over 10 years at an interest rate of 1-1.5%.
The committee will hold a conference on Monday afternoon to discuss the issue among other topics related to defending journalists’ rights.
Condemning economic decisions referred to as the “decisions of Black Thursday”, the committee further assured that “when the costs of paper and print for newspapers go up, and when those institutions face more financial crises, journalists will pay the price and will be at risk of irregular payment and collective dismissals.”
Over the course of three years, several private Egyptian newspapers and news websites have stated financial trouble as a reason for arbitrary collective dismissals.
In these cases, journalists were simply told not to return to work the next day. In a recent incident, the syndicate interfered against the arbitrary dismissal of a dozen journalists from the private Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, successfully restoring them to the institution.
Affected journalists have repeatedly taken their complaints to the Press Syndicate.
“Not only so, but those decisions will lead to a drop in media and press production and therefore violate readers’ right to be informed,” the committee added. The committee called on the syndicate’s board of directors to announce a firm stance rejecting the latest economic decisions.