Egypt’s police step in to combat potato shortage

Egypt’s police are stepping in to fight a potato shortage that has caused prices for the staple to double at a time when Egyptians are struggling with steadily rising food costs.

Pro-government newspapers and TV stations have been publicising raids on warehouses where authorities say businessmen are hoarding potatoes to try to drive up prices.

For the first time, the Interior Ministry, which runs the police, has begun selling potatoes at reduced prices at temporary outlets, drawing long lines of customers.

The potato crisis has showcased the lengths to which authorities are willing to go to prevent popular discontent from boiling over as they impose a raft of austerity measures intended to reform the economy.

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