Egypt – 2012

Egypt – 2012

Palestinians ditched; Egypt next?
By Spengler
Sept. 29th, 2012

After years of intoning that the Palestine issue was the crux of the world’s security problems, the world has left the keys in the wreck and walked away from it. And the Oslo process is ending with a whimper rather than a bang.

Egypt is a different matter. The notion that the world will find $1 billion a month for Egypt – let alone $2 billion – seems whimsical. The catastrophic decline of a nation of 80 million people is something the world has not seen in some time, and policymakers would be wise to take precautionary measures.

Turkey Haunted by Hubris
by Conn Hallinan
November 02, 2012

The two countries are among the most populous in the region, and both have industrial bases in an area of the world where industry was actively discouraged by a century of colonial overlords (the Turks among them). Ankara recently offered $2 billion in aid to cash-strapped Egypt, and both countries have moderate Islamist governments. Cairo and Ankara have also supported the overthrow of the Assad regime.

“Apparently now Egypt is Turkey’s closest partner in the Middle East,” Gamel Soltan of American University in Cairo told the New York Times. But although Egypt was once among the Ottomans’ wealthiest provinces, 2012 is not the world of sultans and pashas—and, in this case, old memories may well be a trap.

Egypt is deeply mired in poverty and inequality. Indeed, it was as much the economic crisis gripping the region as aspirations for democracy and freedom that filled Tahrir Square. Cairo is in serious debt and preparing a round of austerity measures that will sharpen that inequality. The government of President Mohamed Morsi announced that it will slice gas subsidies—a cut that will fall particularly hard on the poor, especially given a jobless rate of over 12 percent and youth unemployment running at more than double that.

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