India's First International News Journal

19.1 C
Thursday, March 23, 2023

The crisis of the “cash allowances” of Egyptian journalists is renewed during the elections of their union

The cash allowance is received by around 13,000 journalists who are on the list of professional workers (AFP).

The economic crisis and waves of exorbitant prizes have turned the dialogue of candidates for the post of President of the Syndicate of Journalists and the midterm renewal of the Syndicate Council into a heated battle today, voters seeking a way out to raise the “a cash stipend” for them, while choosing an alternative captain and council that lifts the shroud from the Syndicate building, so that it once again becomes an arena of freedom that reconnects with a dying profession. Clinic and industry imposed on him “ silence in exchange for crumbs.”

Candidates for president and council are racing to bring the biggest material gains to members of the General Assembly, which will be held today, Friday, to choose a president for a two-year term, from among 11 candidates. , and 6 members from among 40 candidates for a 4-year membership.

The race is on to raise the cash allowance received by around 13,000 journalists in their working hours by 600 pounds to 3,500 pounds – around $100 – from next April, with an increase in the same time for those returned to retirement. , of about 500 pounds, to increase its value to 3000 pounds. (One dollar = 30.75 Egyptian pounds).

The battle for “indemnity” is repeated during the election period, since it became in the 90s of the last century, a government means of supporting a candidate loyal to power, at the expense of the currents that oppose it: partisan newspapers and private.

The value of the increase in compensation reflects the strength of the candidate who opposes the government union and the will of the authority to float it, while journalists see it as a right established by court decisions and the Journalists’ Union Act. The law grants the Ministry of Finance the right to collect 0.5% of advertising and newspaper and media taxes, estimated at two billion pounds a year, which the Ministry enters into the general budget, without returning the money to its owners, as it does with the Bar Association and other parties. The government prefers to call the “allowance” a subsidy for training and technology, and grants it by the decision of the Prime Minister.

Dr Mostafa Madbouly’s decision last week to agree to an increase in ‘journalists’ allowance’ after his meeting with captain candidate Khaled Miri sparked anger, and journalists saw it as a insult to their general assembly, to tie the talk about his disbursement to the decision to elect a specific person vying for the job and the fact that he was less than what journalists are targeting in light of deteriorating financial conditions .

Dr Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance, justifies the amount allocated by increasing the financial burdens of the State, which, in his view, supported an increase of 100 million pounds, at once, to support the ” benefits”, pensions, and the salary system, bringing the union’s total benefits to £580m a year.

The promised “reduction” turned into a curse for the government, following the Central Bank’s announcement late last week of an unprecedented rise in real inflation rates to 40, 26%, during the month of February.

With the government raising the price of petrol, gas and diesel, and its inability to limit the deterioration of the pound, which lost more than half of its value in 2022, and its decline of 6%, days ago, reporters know the promised stipend has lost value before hitting their payroll next month. Experts expect a further rise in the value of the dollar, corresponding to 35 or 37 pounds, at the end of this month of March, with pessimistic expectations reaching 40 pounds, before the end of the year. Journalists are suffering from huge financial crises, which required a massive mobilization of voters to urge the candidates to ask the government to increase the “allowance” which everyone can talk about with force in this important election period for the authority which take place every two years.

Khaled El Balshy, the former union representative and the government’s candidate for captain’s top contender, has sent two letters to the prime minister, referring to the release of a presidential decision last week to raise the salary state workers’ minimum, amounting to 1,000 pounds, to help them cope with inflation unprecedented in history and high prices.

Al-Balshi is surprised that the state minimum wage increases to 3,500 pounds per month, while it stops at 1,200 pounds for journalists. the journalist carries out his work in various places.

Al-Balshi’s call was accompanied by similar demands from most of the presidential and council member candidates, and members of the general assembly, who formed large groups on social media, to push the government to address the deteriorating conditions of journalists. .

Members spoke of the exploitation of government newspapers and other young journalists to work for years without pay, sometimes ending in their appointment for a few pounds, not exceeding the minimum imposed by the union to approve the appointment decision, which is 1,200 pounds.

Syndicate Council member Hisham Younis talks about his demand to investigate incidents of corruption, as some newspaper owners have received money from journalists in return for hiring them, choosing unprofessional items and job creation for them. The young journalists accept the pressures of the decision-makers, in exchange for obtaining a union membership card, which guarantees them the “bonus”, which they consider as a lifeline to help them live.

About 3,000 working journalists are out of work, after the closure of their newspapers and websites, the Union helped to organize unemployment benefits for some of them amounting to 2,000 pounds per month. Young journalists from government newspapers entered the dark tunnel of appointments, like others in party and private newspapers, after a decision by the Prime Minister on January 26, 2020, prohibiting the appointment of national institutions, or their employees.

Khaled Miri, the government candidate, admits that there are 450 journalists on waiting lists to be appointed in state newspapers, and 400 administrative employees, who deserve to be appointed 4 years ago. Merry justifies the government’s decision that the paper press has a financial problem, with the cost of the industry increasing four times in value, the price of paper and inks rising in a year.

“Merry” attributes the financial problem to the escalation of the global financial crisis, ignoring the existence of the crisis in these institutions 14 years ago, and its sharp escalation this year, with the continued depreciation of the pound and the rise of the cost of living.

Ammar Ali Hassan, writer and member of the General Assembly of Journalists, believes that the battle for “compensation” has been imposed by the authorities so that the union remains, in the eyes of some, a consumer association or a “facilitating”. , and its members are for colonies and consolations, believing in the principle of “silence in exchange for crumbs”. Ammar said in a speech to all journalists, “Today, livelihoods are reduced, and they nearly died when the press was monopolized and the press was oppressed and harassed”, although “the indemnity is a right for the journalist because he is a citizen who has money and legitimate sovereignty”, calling for this not to be “a substitute for freedom”.

“Hassan” urges his fellow government candidates and others to seek the freedom lost and gone, given his absence behind the deteriorating conditions of the material press and the narrowness of the means of subsistence, which were wide for all the world when the industry enjoyed a margin of freedom of thought and expression, allowing it to be unique and distinguished and achieve sales.For newspapers and dissemination through websites, they generate a space for public work and opportunities arise for any intelligent and hardworking person.

Candidates are competing to offer discounts to doctors and eyeglass sellers, helping them to cope with treatment prices, which have risen by 25%, according to data from the Mobilization and Statistics Authority. Others offer offers of discounts on transport and free rides on the metro and public transport, many confirmed that these were false promises, repeated more than once, after a government decision issued there 4 years ago, banning this privilege that journalists have enjoyed for decades, such as as parliamentarians, judges and officers, and all Benefits for journalists given an anti-professional climate and holders of union cards.

Government decisions included banning journalists from photographing in the streets, banning them from obtaining information from their sources and being present in court without permission from the competent judge, and prosecuting violators of the decisions. publications prosecuted by newspaper and media censorship boards. in prison, which affected dozens of them, of whom 10 remain, according to official statements. .

Journalists are looking for satisfactory solutions to their financial crises, with regard to the fall in wages and their value, and the control of a narrow elite in decision-making and benefiting financially from its proximity to the sovereign apparatus.

Journalists speak of corruption incidents that tainted an Arab prince’s grants worth £55m and spent £8m to refurbish the Syndicate’s ‘ugly facade’ which has pulled back to its finest form 4 years ago and put her behind a “burlap” curtain. “which turned into a dusty shroud of dust and pollutants, to suppress the freedom ‘square’ that moved the January 25 revolution and silenced its voice after police stormed the Syndicate journalists for the first time following popular protests refusing to concede the islands of Tiran and Sanafir and cooperate with Israel. Journalists are looking for a captain and a board of directors to help save a sinking ship and to defend the profession so that it remains a strong, free and independent union.

For latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and also on Twitter.
Click here to show your support.
News Room
News Room
The Eastern Herald’s Editorial Board validates, writes, and publishes the stories under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on

Public Reaction



Read More