News / Middle East

Egyptians Wary of IMF Loan

Egyptians Wary of IMF Loani
X
April 15, 2013 3:12 PM
Officials from the International Monetary Fund are hammering out terms of a much-needed infusion of cash for Egypt's weakening economy. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo that some Egyptians are worried about foreign influence over Egypt in its current, vulnerable state.

Egyptians Wary of IMF Loan

Elizabeth Arrott
Officials from the International Monetary Fund are hammering out terms of a much-needed infusion of cash for Egypt's weakening economy. But some Egyptians are worried about foreign influence over Egypt in its current, vulnerable state.

As Egypt's economy falters, its government is trying to find relief anywhere it can. Officials say they are closer to securing a nearly $5 billion package from the International Monetary Fund, while recently announcing a $3 billion bond deal with Qatar.
As much as the foreign money is welcome, Egyptians worry about the lenders' motives. Some see the IMF as too close to the interests of Egypt's former government, and they view Qatar's largess as prompted less by neighborly goodwill than by regional ambition.

Economist Magdy Sobhy Youssef of the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies:

Youssef said it is normal for lenders or aid donors to have conditions that allow them to exploit the country they are helping, either through political concessions or the economy. He added that is as true for the West as it is for Qatar and other Gulf nations.  

But economists say Egypt has the potential to build itself up without selling itself out. It starts, they argue, with ending the stalemate in domestic politics that has put meaningful reform on hold.

Youssef said that to see the problem as something with only an economic solution will lead to failure. "What is needed," he added, "is political harmony between the government and the opposition."

One of the biggest sticking points in pushing through a reform program is the political fallout from austerity measures. Neither side appears to want to take the blame for cutting subsidies - a huge drain on the budget. In recent weeks, rising prices and shortages of diesel and cooking fuel have led to murderous rage. And historically, a boost in the cost of bread has led to riots across Egypt.

But economists say there are ways to close loopholes so that only the, far fewer, truly needy get help. Omneya Helmy, director of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies, says while curtailing subsidies is important, it is only part of the answer.

“It is not only about removing subsidies or lowering subsidies, but it is also about if people are offered or helped to have a good job with a decent salary," she said."This would really alleviate the problem.”

So, too, she said, would the strategic use of aid from foreign countries to build Egypt's domestic economy.

“When we get from the IMF the loan, or from other donors, I do not want to see it all going only to finance the budget, but also to other developmental projects that create jobs and improve the quality of life of Egyptians," she said.

For all the concern about outside influence, the crumbling economy, and continuing political and security troubles, Helmy remains optimistic.

“We are in a critical situation.  But Egypt will not collapse. I am confident," she said. "At the end of the day, Egyptians will make it.”

Hers may be a minority view based on a healthy dose of apolitical common sense. Other economists worry “the end of the day” is still a long way off.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
April 16, 2013 10:44 PM
Youssef, I think, is absolutely correct in indicating that money is only a part of the solution. Egypt needs to fundamentally restructure its economy/national policies. For it to occur- political consensus that leads to peace is one fundamental; another one is human rights for all Egyptians; another one is equality of rights; another one is security with unbiased justice; another one is to stem/stop corruption; another one is to re-generate the economy, through the creation of base industries and other commercial activity for its internal market, to create jobs.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB), due to its biased approach to the emancipation of women, and its failure to protect diligently human rights for all Egyptian minorities, and not just Muslims, will not be able to carry out the fundamental changes required; the MB itself must shift significantly, in its policies, towards secularism. The current course which the MB is following will fail and potentially destroy, by a civil war, Egypt.


by: Mahfuz Hatem from: Egypt
April 15, 2013 1:55 PM
hey Obama... this is the time to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood. its not the time to resuscitate this revolting terrorist organization... as Maggie said to Bush - don't go wobbly on me now... George!!! and really, we will be just fine without these Muslim lechers suffocating the country with their malignant idiotic Sharia...
Hilary Clinton loves them but she does not have to live her life under Islamic "law"
Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas... it is Al Nusra... hey Obama - Muslim Brotherhood is Al Qaeda... wake up!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid