Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1268, (29 October - 4 November 2015)
Wednesday,18 October, 2017
Issue 1268, (29 October - 4 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Digest

Compiled by Doaa El-Bey

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di1
Al-Ahram Weekly

Zahi Hawass led an Egyptian campaign in the US to encourage more US tourists to visit Egypt. He delivered two lectures in New York and Washington this week about Egyptian monuments. He was hosted by Fox News and interviewed by top American newspapers. The campaign delegation comprised representatives of the Ministry of Tourism and Egyptian diplomats in the US, who focused on how Egypt has become a safe place for tourists to visit.


Tarek Amer: The CBE’s 13th governor

Naming senior banker Tarek Amer the new head of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) as of November is expected to help ease the country’s currency crisis.

There are various important issues awaiting Amer, including the question of Egypt’s approach to managing the value of the Egyptian pound versus the dollar. Bankers and economists say the Central Bank’s insistence on maintaining an over-valued pound has created uncertainty, which in turn has discouraged foreign investors.

Under his predecessor Hisham Ramez, the Central Bank had kept the pound steady at 7.5301 pounds to the dollar for the five months until July, then allowed it to slide to 7.6301 as pressure built. It later let it slip by a further 0.10 pounds on July 5.

Early this month, Ramez introduced another round of devaluation, weakening the pound to 7.8301 on 15 October, and followed that by another 0.10 pound devaluation on 18 October.

Amer is expected to devalue the pound further in order to restore stability to the market.

Allowing a controlled weakening of the pound could boost exports and attract further investment. But it would also increase Egypt’s already large bill for imported fuel and food and might fuel inflation in a country that depends on imports, where millions live hand to mouth.

Ramez, whose term ends on 26 November, has faced increasing criticism for his reluctance to devalue the Egyptian pound, which has come under sustained pressure.

Instead, he took other measures that have angered local businesses starved of foreign currency to pay for imports.

With the Central Bank selling dollars to defend the pound, Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves have tumbled from $36 billion in 2011 to $16.3 billion in September, enough to cover just over three months of imports.

Amer, a former Central Bank deputy governor who was also chairman of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) from 2008 to 2013, is popular in financial circles. Unlike Ramez, he is credited with having a collaborative approach to management.

He will take office as the new governor on 27 November, 2015 and until November 26, 2019.

Ramez took the position on 3 February 2013, until the end of his mandate in 26 November, 2015.

According to the CBE law, the governor is appointed by a presidential decree on the nomination of the Prime Minister for a period of four years, subject to renewal.

The Governor of CBE is treated as a minister, in terms of pension, while his resignation must be accepted by the president. CBE’s nine members in its Board of Directors, as well the governor, have a tenure of four years subject to renewal.

CBE was established by presidential decree in 1961 as an independent entity which represents the official bank of the Egyptian government.

The bank’s responsibilities include realising price stability and ensuring the soundness of the banking system, formulating and implementing the monetary, credit, and banking policies as well as issuing banknotes and determining their denominations and specifications.


“Those who chose to be with the spectators and refrained from taking part in the parliamentary election – especially the young — still have a chance to change their minds before it is too late. Positive participation in the third step of the roadmap that all Egyptians agreed on on 30 June protects the rights and dignity of the people, and helps them to achieve a dignified life, freedom and social justice.”
Al-Ahram


Closing a shrine?
“The decision of the Minister of Religious Endowments to close Al-Hussein Shrine for three day on the anniversary of Al-Hussein martyrdom is like another assassination to the great imam. It is an official acknowledgement by the minister that his ministry is not strong enough to confront those who are trying to spread the Shia doctrine. The minister proves that our religion, which he is responsible for protecting, is so weak that one night of celebration, which has hone on for hundreds of years, could threaten it!”
Mohamed Al-Dessouki Rushdi,
Al-Youm Al-Sabei

“The decision to close Al-Hussein shrine for three days is not right at all. Egypt, which has a Sunni majority, has never known any hostile feelings against the Shia. Besides, the Shia minority in Egypt are moderate. Unlike the Shia in other states, they have never engaged in any violent or unacceptable practices that do not agree with Egyptian nature.”
Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, Al-Ahram


Change the election law
“The 27 per cent who took part in the elections is the most we can get in a competition that is based on interests, promises and family ties. People will not flock to the poll stations anew until there is a genuine change in the shape and nature of competition in our country. Introducing the system of proportional electoral lists is the least possible reform required in our election system. Those lists would allow more room for various ideas and principles. They would also encourage political parties to compete and prompt more voters’ interest in the election process. We tried the present election law once and we paid dearly for it. We urgently need to change it.”
Gamal Abdel-Gawad, Al-Watan


Egypt’s role
“The parliament, without a doubt, strengthens Egypt’s international role. Completing the state institution, the presence of a legislative authority that has a role according to the new constitution and the various decision making bodies will boost Egypt’s credibility at the international level.”
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri in an interview with Al-Akhbar


Egyptian Essence: 670,000 void votes

“The government is required to analyse the reason for the void votes that reached 670,000 votes in the first round of the elections as the Higher Elections Committee stated. The government also needs to refer to the reports written by the election observers as well as the judges and supervisors for the reasons behind the low turnout.”
Ihsan Al-Sayed, Al-Youm Al-Sabei


Facebook

“Running a state is a difficult and complicated matter that needs certain abilities. To deal with predictable flooding, for instance, a detailed and flexible plan that satisfies people and protects their properties is needed. Egyptian officials usually find an excuse for the man in charge in the lack of resources to apply that plan. However, he lacks the experience and efficiency to draw such a complicated plan. Besides his team lacks experienced people who can implement it. In the end we will blame corruption for the problem because it is an easy excuse that everyone will believe.”
Mak Sul

“Although I do not have accurate figures about the amount of rain in Alexandria, I believe that it was not huge. The problem is in the infrastructure. Any city should have a proper drainage system to drain rain water. Alexandria had that network until the 1980s.”
Mo Aboussid


Twitter

MIRZA @MIrzaABBaig
The governor of the #Egyptian city of #Alexandria has resigned after #torrential rain caused widespread disruption and a number of #deaths.
    
Nihal @_NiZS  
Alexandria is flooded. Again, just like every year during the rain. Zero reformations take place.

Logine Sherif @loginesherif  
Now after seeing the pictures of the rain in Alexandria, I’d rather freeze to death in Saint Petersburg than go back.

Samer Al-Atrush @SameralAtrush  
Gunmen killed Mostafa Abdel Rahman, the Salafi Nour party candidate in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, in north Sinai, say officials.

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