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CAIRO: Since toppling the Muslim Brotherhood from power last year, the Egyptian army has turned its substantial economic firepower on another perceived threat to the country's stability: unemployment.It was part of a push to tackle joblessness, and evidence of a more prominent role for the army's economic muscle, with its former chief, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the runaway favorite to become president in May 26-27 elections.Egypt's unemployment crisis could make or break his presidency. The 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak was largely fueled by anger at the grim prospects facing young Egyptians unable to find work, afford their own home and get married."The problem is a time bomb," said Mahmoud al-Sherbiny. He heads a government industrial training scheme tapping for the first time the Military Production Ministry.The United Arab Emirates is bankrolling the scheme, part of billions of dollars in aid sent to Egypt by Gulf states hostile to the Brotherhood, and the civilian authorities pay Military Production for their services.The Industrial Training Council, which belongs to the Industry Ministry, held a job fair earlier this year offering 20,000 jobs in the industrial sector, but only 7,000 people came, an ITC official said.Some believe the Military Production Ministry may be harnessed even more widely to help address the mismatch.
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