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Ahram Online: Egypt's history of privatisation

Egypt’s history of privatising public-sector companies has not always been bright.
29.06.18 | Interesting article at Ahram Online

The government has announced the resumption of its privatisation programme by offering shares from many public-sector companies on the stock market, causing some to look back at earlier episodes of privatisation in the country.

For Gamal Othman, a former employee of the Tanta Flax and Oils Company, the privatisation programme changed his life, as well as his company.

Some 13 years ago, Othman worked as a technician in the then state-owned company that exports flax seeds and fibres and was affiliated to the Holding Company for Chemical Industries. Then it was privatised and became entirely owned by the Wadi Company for the Export of Agricultural Products.

The sale was the result of a decree issued by the Ministerial Committee for Privatisation formed in 2000 and tasked with selecting public-sector companies for sale and setting the terms of their privatisation.

After the privatisation of the company, Othman and hundreds of his fellow employees were deprived of the health insurance guaranteed when it was in the public sector.

Salaries went down as the new owners shut down factories for specific periods. Protesting employees were fired, Othman said. In 2009, the Chemical Industries Syndicate decided to support a strike.