Africa

Furor as Egypt officials use state funds for flashy cars

FILE - In this June 25, 2014, file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi stands at Algiers airport on his arrival to Algiers, Algeria. News that Egypt's parliament speaker and his two deputies are using state funds to get cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars has sparked a furor days after the president said Egypt was "poor, very, very poor." (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub, File)

FILE - In this June 25, 2014, file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi stands at Algiers airport on his arrival to Algiers, Algeria. News that Egypt's parliament speaker and his two deputies are using state funds to get cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars has sparked a furor days after the president said Egypt was "poor, very, very poor." (AP Photo/Sidali Djarboub, File)  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Social media, TV stations and newspapers in Egypt are abuzz after reports that the parliament speaker and his two deputies are using state funds to get flashy cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The scandal comes at a time when Egyptians are being constantly called upon to do with less to weather the country's worst economic crisis in decades.

Only last week, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told a youth conference that Egypt was "poor, very, very poor."

Adding fuel to the fire, a prominent lawmaker has reportedly been referred to the 596-seat chamber's disciplinary committee for publicly criticizing the purchase of the cars.

The furor has spread to include criticism of el-Sissi, with some accusing his government of professing poverty while spending lavishly on the luxurious comfort of its members.