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Rafati: Tunnel trading losses cost $460 million
A smuggling tunnel on the Egyptian-Gaza border
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Gaza, ALRAY - Minister of Economy Dr Alaa Al-Rafati revealed that the economic cost of the destruction of the tunnels between the Gaza and Egypt reached $460 million, MEMO reported.

Speaking at a session organised by the Palestinian Institute for Communication and Development, he pointed out that "the Egyptian authorities have completely destroyed 250 tunnels, which represents 80 to 90 per cent of the total, he said.

Dr Al-Rafati added that the financial crisis that the government is facing existed prior to the coup in Egypt. "40 per cent of the 2013 budget, totaling $800 million, is collected from local revenues,"

The salaries of government employees is around $25 million a month, he said.

The rest of the budget is split between capital and development costs. "These require foreign aid and grants," the minister insisted.

The government account at the National Islamic Bank is currently overdrawn by around $12 million, he added.

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