Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reacts as he delivers his speech in Sharm el-Sheikh, south of Cairo, March 15, 2015.REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Amina Mostafa voted for Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi last year, seeing a "strong man" who could take Egypt forward.The demonstration was the biggest outpouring of discontent with the government's economic policies during Sisi's 14 months in office.In taking on the civil service, which eats up a quarter of state spending, Sisi is trying to get a bumpy economic recovery back on track. The Cairo-based Egyptian Center for Economic studies estimates the law will save as much as 22 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.8 billion) compared with projections based on the past trajectory of wages, which increased at an average 18 percent pace in the past three years.Egypt's government employs about 25 percent of the country's workforce compared to an average of 21 percent across OECD countries and about 12 percent in countries like Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Sisi said that Egypt only needs a "quarter" of its state employees, yet the law does not address the size of the bureaucracy. Dressed in the red, black and white colors of Egypt's flag, Morsi held a photo of Sisi at the rally to show she was protesting against the government rather than the president.Sisi does have some economic data on his side.
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