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Egypt military tries to boost economy internally
Published in Bikya Masr on 05 - 12 - 2011

CAIRO: Egypt's military junta has directed $1 billion of its reserves into the government's accounts in an effort to assist the country's struggling economy from tumbling further into the doldrums.
However, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) also said it would not use financial aid offers from foreign countries “because of political conditions” that could be attached to such money.
It is worrying a number of activists and observers in the country, wondering where the money came from in the first place and how the military has such large amounts of financial coffers.
“Certainly, this is very worrisome because it shows the military has the economic power to do what they want with the country,” said Abdel Aziz Rahman, a 29-year-old legal executive at a local NGO. “They have full control then on all aspects of society and Egypt's future.”
But the SCAF sees it as a push to help the country's struggling economy, and wants to keep it local.
“The military has pumped $1 billion of revenues from its own projects into the Central Bank of Egypt,” Major General Mahmoud Nasr, a member of Egypt's Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) said at a press conference late last week.
Nasr added that SCAF had refused financial aid offers from the Gulf and other foreign countries because of the political conditions attached.
“Although the most serious problem facing the Egyptian economy in the short term expected decline in foreign reserves, we still do not want to receive aid from the Gulf and other foreign countries,” he said.
Currently, Egypt has $20 billion in foreign reserves, but Nasr said this could decline to around $15 billion by the end of January.
Many Egyptians believe the government is poor and does not have the funding necessary to achieve development plans and sustainability.
“The government does not have money and people are frustrated,” said one taxi driver.
For many in the country, the belief the military and the interim government is weak and poor has gone a long way to support a turn away from normalcy and vote in conservative Islamic groups to parliament.
The Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the ultra-conservative al-Nour Party won around 65 percent of the first round of voting in the country's first free and open elections.
Tags: Economy, featured, Funding, SCAF
Section: Business, Egypt, Latest News

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