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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora