By MAGGIE MICHAELCAIRO (AP) — Egypt's prime minister tried to reassure an anxious public on Friday as Egyptians expressed alarm and anger over prices that swiftly soared a day after the nation's currency was floated, sending its value tumbling as fuel subsidies were cut. In the capital's working class district of Imbaba, residents spoke of a sudden spike in transportation and food prices, mainly because of the increase in petrol costs. Gaber Ramadan, a manual laborer, told The Associated Press that his commute to work rose from 2 to 3 pounds overnight, and even his morning falafel went up from a quarter to a half pound. Even the slightest increase stings, he said, as he earns 1,200 pounds a month, a third of which goes to rent. The unprecedented shock therapy measures are part of a raft of reforms aimed at salvaging Egypt's crumbling economy and securing a $12 billion IMF bailout. But it has also raised fears of a backlash from a public already struggling with high inflation and mounting unemployment. "People are tired, really tired," said Ramadan. A young salesman at a nearby mobile phone shop, who identified himself with his first name Hamada, yelled: "We are worth nothing!" On Thursday, the Central Bank devalued the Egyptian pound from 8.8 to 13 to the dollar, and then floated it. By Friday, the pound was at 15 to 16 to the dollar. At midnight on Thursday, the fuel subsidy cut also came into effect, increasing gas prices by 30 to 47 percent, depending on the type. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail appeared on state TV at a press conference with six other ministers, and said the government doesn't have the "luxury" to wait. "It is our destiny to take action in the face of the current economic situation," he said, arguing that the way forward is to attract foreign investment to provide more job opportunities and increase exports. Egypt currently imports a third of its needs in goods.