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Rare display of public anger as Cairo hikes metro fares

Reuters CAIRO (Reuters) — Dozens of Egyptians have protested at Cairo metro stations in a rare display of public discontent as the government tightens spending and pushes austerity measures, according to posts on social media.

The government raised the price of tickets on Cairo’s loss-making metro on Friday, more than tripling some fares.

Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces at Maadi station and at least two people were arrested on Saturday, a Reuters witness said.

Some posts showed people demanding the government rescind the decision, with some jumping over ticket barriers, apparently refusing to pay the new fares.

“We will not move, we will not move,” a small crowd chanted at Dar el-Salam station in south Cairo as policemen looked on.

Interior Ministry officials could not be reached for comment. It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the recordings.

Even small protests have been rare in Egypt since the army ousted President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist, in 2013 following protests against his rule.

A law passed in 2013 banned demonstrations not approved by the Interior Ministry, taking away a right earned in the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

The fare rises came as Egypt pushes ahead with tough reforms tied to a $12 billion International Monetary Fund agreement that have included energy subsidy cuts and tax hikes and are aimed at boosting growth.Speech

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