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Egypt's El-Garhy seeks stability in reform

Amr El-Garhy is Egypt’s ninth finance minister in a little over six years – and after a revolution, a coup d’état and last year’s surprise currency flotation, the Egyptian economy is in desperate need of stability. El-Garhy talks to Euromoney about the challenges facing him and the country.

Amr El-Garhy is Egypt's ninth finance minister since January 2011

The first thing one notices when entering Amr El-Garhy’s office in Cairo’s finance ministry is what is screening on the television by his desk. Finance ministers often keep Bloomberg, CNBC or one of the many news channels running in their offices. On this mid-July day El-Garhy’s office TV is showing a sports channel, specifically football. 

“Sometimes you need to see some things that cheer you up,” El-Garhy explains, without apology, “and not all hard figures.

“They drive me mad… oil prices, wheat prices, stockmarket… everything. You need some distraction.”

A schoolboy karate enthusiast, El-Garhy says in football he is a Barcelona fan these days. But he also supports “the team where Mohamed Salah plays.” That makes the minister a Liverpool fan since June; ‘The Reds’ are the sixth club where the crack Egyptian midfielder has played since 2011.

That is a lot of changes for the footballing Salah in six years. But it is nothing compared with the changes at Egypt’s finance ministry.

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