Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak tried to buy himself some time in the face of defiant street protests yesterday, vowing to boost public sector pay packets by 15 per cent.
The 82-year-old strongman met his new cabinet for the first time as the regime battled to get the economy moving again despite ongoing demonstrations by pro-democracy activists.
The cabinet also approved a plan to spend another 6.5 billion Egyptian pounds more to boost pensions.
However, there was no sign that the demonstrators who have now spent two weeks in Tahrir Square are ready to cede ground.
Campaigners sat under the tracks of army tanks deployed around the square, fearful that any movement by the military could be designed to drive out the protesters or abandon them to the mercy of pro-regime thugs.