Saturday,25 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1137, 28 February - 6 March 2013
Saturday,25 November, 2017
Issue 1137, 28 February - 6 March 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

Depression sets in

“Is it really over? Is Egypt going to be under the rule of an authoritarian regime forever? Is it too much to live in dignity and respect in my own country? I am depressed.” With these words Nora Medhat expressed her frustration on her Facebook account over the political turmoil in Egypt.

Debates over whether Islamists or seculars are right have almost stopped on social networks. Most of the discussions now focus on what will happen next in Egypt. “Is it a civil war?” asked Mohamed Anis who said all the indicators say Egyptians are turning violent and do not listen to each other anymore.

“It is easy to see two friends accusing each other of defamation of religion because they only disagree on their views about the political situation. I warned it was too early for us to have this revolution, and for some, it was too early,” Anis said.

Nahla Hafez asked whether Egyptian politicians understand that now most Egyptians are ready to easily turn violent.

“This is your mistake. You made us like that. None of you know anything about politics or how the country’s interests should be above everything else. Your place is not among us. All of you just go hide and leave us alone,” Hafez said.

Mustafa Abdel-Rahman said that neither the protests nor the elections “gave us what we want from the revolution”.

“Either way, people in protests or in elections are being cheated. Only the members of the Muslim Brotherhood are worthy; the rest of us are non-believers and deserve to live in repression,” Abdel-Rahman said.

Marwa Khalil argued that even when Egyptians are exhausted they will stand up at the right time against any repression.

“We should be patient and wait for the right moment to take our country back from this political elite that has done nothing for us,” Khalil said.

Logical conclusion

Karim Abadir wrote a piece on Yaacoub blog analysing Egypt’s foreign currency reserve problem:

“Egypt has not officially reported its reserves position to the IMF since December 2012. Now you may ask what’s behind this delay.

Egyptian total reserves were declared to be $13.6 billion in January 2013 which, together with this link, means that net reserves are now in negative territory.

This zero-reserves day has been delayed by countries depositing monies to embellish our total headline figure. Now we’ve hit zero. It’s not a forecast but something that’s already happened. The proof is in the link to the IMF webpage on Egypt, and Egypt has not sent the updated info since December 2012, presumably for fear of being exposed.

Our short-term liabilities are listed in sections II and III of the aforementioned IMF webpage, and they add up to more than our total reserves today. It means that we have started spending the deposits that should be returned soon to foreign governments.

I am not even counting the huge debts of Egypt’s Petroleum Company in the figure to deduct, nor am I making allowance for illiquid assets like gold that will have to be dumped in the market and sold at below their current value to pay for our debts. Not only is Egypt bankrupt, but it has also broken international law. The depositors have put us in a corner. One main difference between a deposit and a loan is that the former can be recalled. If there is no good reason for doing so, the depositor loses the interest due. Otherwise, compensation may even be due to the depositor, especially if it turns out that their money cannot be returned. Now that makes you wonder which assets is Egypt going to give to these countries in compensation? Let us not forget how debts to the British and the French led to Khedive Ismail relinquishing control of the Suez Canal.

But here’s another worrying logical conclusion. If our government broke the law and spent the deposits of foreign governments, would it not do the lesser evil of taking local deposits of hard currencies? In case you think this is science fiction, it is not.

Countries in better economic positions than Egypt have had to resort to this. In 2001, Argentina did just that to face its crisis: foreign-currency deposits were forced exchanged into pesos at an artificial exchange rate determined by the government. The question is, are your savings safe?” 

Tweets

“Those calling for the military to intervene are, for the lack of a more diplomatic term, idiots.” @Iyad El-Baghdadi

“Morsi is asking the opposition to forward recommendations to him so he can ignore them firsthand; dialogue of the deaf.” @Salama Moussa

“Morsi needs to move away from his reactive policies of repression and towards fair justice and economic development.” @Ahmad Sarhan
“We could just give up our demands of social justice and democracy. In return Morsi has to stop killing us with his speeches.”@Mohamed Attia

“God please keep Morsi as far away as possible from Libya, we already have enough curses.” @Aladdin Attiga

“Listening to Morsi talking to Al-Mehwar is enough for the majority of the Egyptians to go to Mubarak and ask him to come back.” @Ahmed Foud

“Morsi and the MB must be ousted by the same ballots that got them there. Strictly so. @Wael Ashraf

“Maybe an injury is God’s way of giving you a compulsory break, telling you to slow down and take it easy.”@Rehab Bassam

“Tough women on the square are the voice of revolution everywhere.”
@Nagla Rizk

 

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