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Egypt’s president has issued a decree raising the sales tax on cigarettes by up to 50 percent and on beer by 200 percent. The decision released Sunday is the latest in a series of recent decrees that aim to ease Egypt’s staggering budget deficit, which has hovered at around 12 percent over the past three years of turmoil. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, former military chief elected last month, vowed to take tough decisions to address the country’s battered economy. This weekend, el-Sissi also partially lifted subsidies on fuel, a politically sensitive issue that Egypt’s previous leaders had avoided.



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