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Arabic press review: Egypt ATM machines empty, as banks take nine-day holiday

Meanwhile, Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers are due to meet after Eid holidays and Deliveroo in Dubai halts plans to cut salaries after workers go on strike
Egyptians have expressed their anger at a cash withdrawal crisis across the country, as banks take a long Eid break (AFP/File photo)

Egypt ATM machines empty 

Egyptians have not been able to use ATM machines since Thursday, as the government issued a decision to suspend work in banks and government institutions for nine consecutive days during the Eid holidays, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

"People lined up in long queues, waiting for salaries and money they could not withdraw from these machines,” the London-based paper said.

Egyptian banks are scheduled to reopen on 10 May, which means that the cash crisis and the inability to obtain funds may continue for several days.

“The public was in a state of panic after most of them discovered that the ATM machines of all local banks had run out of money, or stopped working completely, and those that had money had set severe limits for the daily cash withdrawal,” the paper said.

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The National Bank of Egypt, which has the largest number of clients and branches in the country, has been “completely paralysed”, the report added, and its clients have not succeeded in obtaining their money from branches of other banks.

"We came in hope that we would find money at ATM machines of several banks in the mall because it is far from the places where employees gather and popular areas," said Safaa Mohamed, on her way to ATM machines at a large mall in Cairo.

She pointed out that she had tried various ways to get cash to buy food for Eid, but "my bad luck will push me to look for other places to get it by any means".

Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers ‘to meet within a few days’

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported that Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers are due to meet “within a few days” after the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

The meeting will constitute the sixth round of talks between the two regional foes, after the success of the fifth round hosted by Iraq a few weeks ago, according to the newspaper.

According to the newspaper, observers of the fifth round of negotiations confirmed they were “very positive” and that a large part of the contentious issues between the two countries was worked out. 

The sources told the paper that they expected the first meeting between the foreign ministers would result in a decision to reopen embassies, speed up the pace of communication between the two sides, and facilitate the travel of Iranian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year.

Deliveroo workers stage strike in Dubai

Deliveroo has suspended its plans to reduce the salaries of its drivers in the UAE and increase their working hours after a rare strike by workers, according to Al-Khaleej Online.

Pictures of a large number of workers from the food delivery company who went on strike in Dubai on Sunday went viral on social media. 

The company had previously informed restaurants that it deals with in Dubai that "drivers are on strike and refuse to transport food".

The company said - in a statement - that it was aiming to achieve "a careful structuring of the calculation process for drivers' earnings".

*Arabic press review is a digest of news reports now independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.

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