CAIRO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said he was holding back on a decision to increase tax burdens as protests continue against a draft constitution he supports.
Egyptians protested after Morsi gave himself sweeping powers that were said to help spur democratic developments in the country. During the weekend, Morsi annulled a power decree but mobilized the country's military to maintain security ahead of a weekend referendum on the draft constitution.
Morsi announced Sunday he was backtracking on a move to increase taxes. The effort, reports news agency al-Ahram, was part of a series of programs offered to the International Monetary Fund to secure a $4.8 billion loan. Morsi had already imposed a series of austerity measures.
"Out of his awareness of the burdens of this difficult economic stage on ordinary citizens, the president decided to halt the implementation of tax raise measures and assigned the government to hold a societal dialogue to see how far these measures are accepted by the public opinion," a presidential statement read.
A Central Bank official was quoted by the news agency as saying parts of the economy "are not performing at their best."