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PASSINGS

Atef Sedki, 75; Premier Helped Lead Egypt to a Market Economy

February 27, 2005|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Atef Sedki, 75, a former prime minister who helped steer Egypt toward a market-oriented economy, died Friday, the semi-official Middle East News Agency reported.

Sedki, whose 10-year term was longer than any other Egyptian prime minister, died of complications from a heart condition, the agency said.

He had a severe heart attack late last year and was treated in Egyptian and French hospitals.

An economist and lawyer, Sedki began his career as cultural attache at the Egyptian Embassy in Paris. He also taught finance and law at Cairo University. He gained respect for balancing the need for reform with state support that millions of Egyptians rely on.

When President Hosni Mubarak name him prime minister, he told Sedki to modernize the state-controlled economy. Sedki then began a restructuring program that privatized hundreds of state-owned enterprises.

In 1993, Muslim extremists tried to assassinate him with a car bomb in Cairo. Sedki survived, but the blast killed a 12-year-old girl and several of her classmates as they were walking down the street.

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