Egypt to hike electricity prices in July

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CAIRO (AP) — Egypt says it will raise electricity prices for households and businesses by an average of 15 percent, the latest in a series of austerity measures aimed at boosting the economy.

Electricity Minister Mohammed Shaker said Tuesday that rates will be raised in July.

He says the government aims to cut electricity subsidies to around $1.3 billion a year from the current level of around $2.9 billion. The government raised electricity prices last year by an average of 26 percent.

Egypt agreed to slash a range of energy subsidies in exchange for a $12 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund in 2016. The economic reforms have aided Egypt's recovery from the years of unrest following the 2011 uprising, but have exacted a heavy toll on the poor and middle class.

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