Al-Ahram Weekly Online   1 - 7 December 2011
Issue No. 1074
Reader's corner
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875


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With Egypt

Sir-- Good luck and best wishes for Egypt and the great Egyptian people who are striving for freedom and democracy. We should stand by them and support them and all nations who are trying to have freedom and democracy. If we are advocating freedom and democracy for all then we have to support what we say. Again, best wishes to all nations who are tired of dictatorships and trying hard to be free.

Andrew Chow
New York

True tests

Sir-- I really would like the Egyptians to vote and have the authorities give a true and accurate accounting of the results. It would be a litmus paper test for the sociological thinking of Arab people. If the election results are dishonest, then that, too, would be a litmus paper test for the Arab people and the rest of the world would just sigh: "business as usual."

Elain Lieb

Democracy No 2

Sir-- Well, I'm very glad to see that Egypt is moving forward and that they won't remain a military state in the foreseeable future. Good luck to Egypt as they are now the second Arab nation to experiment with democracy.

Jenai Newman

Unavoidable revolts

Sir-- Re 'Cold winter and seething anger' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 17-23 November) how many protesters will it take before governments wake up to the inevitability of change? If there was any chance of governments suddenly becoming responsive to people's needs there would be no need for revolution. As governments cannot satisfy people's demands for justice and freedom while continuing to exist, then revolution is inevitable. As for the timing of the revolution, it seems to be an ongoing process, neither specifically declared, not possible to deny.

Paul Repstock

Financial sovereignty

Sir-- I read Niveen Wahish's article 'Less is more' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 3-9 November) with a great sense of frustration about the prevalence of the conventional wisdom that tax revenues finance government spending and that "borrowing" is inherently destabilising. If Egypt is going to lead the way in a new era in the Middle East, it must abandon the "sound finance" mythology, which is a relic of the gold standard, and embrace a model of true financial sovereignty. A financially sovereign country prints its own currency, collects taxes in that same currency, and most importantly issues government bonds that are only denominated in that same sovereign currency. As such, Egypt can finance all the national priorities that its people demand. A national debt is always manageable under a flexible exchange rate system and an adequate agricultural and industrial policy. Egypt's most valuable assets are its people and their ingenuity. The country must also harness support from and cooperation with like-minded nations that are interested in fair trade amongst equals rather than neo-colonialist subjugation. The real burden on Egypt's economy is the odious debt that was incurred under the Mubarak regime. This debt must be repudiated in the same way that Iraq's and Ecuador's debt were. Debt cancellation (not forgiveness) is the least that the West can do today to make up for the ills that Mubarak and his Western supporters have done to the people of Egypt.

Fadhel Kaboub

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