Security, Social Justice Are Priorities: Egypt PM

In his first interview since taking office on 25 February, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab has said his main aim is to protect the dignity of all Egyptians.

Speaking late on Saturday, Mahlab said his government would focus on security problems, social justice and subsidies.

I have been working closely with the interior ministry to ensure it has all the support it needs to secure the country, he added.

Police have increased their presence on the streets, especially at night, he said. And there are signs that security has improved during the recent period.

On social justice, Mahlab said wealth must be redistributed in a transparent way.

“The percentage of people in poverty is about 26 percent,” Mahlab explained. “While ten percent of population has 25 percent of the wealth.”

There must be a fair and equal access to services all over the country, he said. And social justice can be improved if subsidies are directed to those who really need them.

“Protecting the rights of minorities, women, disabled people and the establishment of social justice are important for protecting the human dignity of all Egyptians and this is what I will be aiming for.”

The return of stolen Egyptian funds from Europe must be carried out swiftly, he said.

On his choice of ministers, Mahlab said those who accepted positions were told they would be working in crucial and difficult circumstances – so some accepted the challenge while others did not.

“There is no room for mistakes, which is why we try to involve all ministers in the decision-making process.”

Acknowledging that corruption takes place in government institutions, he said he had reported violations to the prosecutor-general.

Mahlab was asked to form a government on 25 February after prime minister Hazem El-Beblawi and his cabinet resigned the day before.

He is a former member of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) and ex-chairman of Arab Contractors, one of the region’s leading construction companies.

He was housing minister in El-Beblawi’s cabinet.

Source : Ahram online