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Kiss Egypt's Revolution Good-Bye
By Dick Eastman
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is ready to lend a billion Euros a year to Egypt for reconstruction and free-market reform -- even as Egypt's Minister of Finance Samir Radwan has gone begging to the City of London bankers and the British Ministry of Trade and Investment for relief on debt payments that are about to throw Egypt into bankruptcy since Egypt has been such a good boy in privatization and austerity to give Egypt a 7 percent growth rate mostly in investments that will end up in international hands as ventures fail to pay out with ever diminishing Egyptian domestic purchasing power.
First EBRD will lend at interest and build what they want backed by Egyptian collateral and the value of the projects themselves. Then when it turns out they can't make the debt payments because of all the interest we have sucked from them, we take over all of the assets we have developed. That's freedom and EBRD is really going to give it to them. After all EBRD is experienced at this. In 1991 the EBRD was organized to financially lead Russia and Eastern Europe in their transition from paternalistic socialism to sustainable free-market economies open to international investment.
The U.S. is the EBRD's largest shareholder, although the combined stakes of European Union nations give that bloc the greatest say in how it operates.
EBRD President Thomas Mirow in a speech at Oxford University declared, "Twenty years ago, the EBRD rose to the challenge posed by the collapse of communism. Today, in the Middle East..we are ready to act again, championing the values that we hold dear. . . . We have the ability to deliver the development of the private sector, particularly the small and medium sized enterprises which drive job creation and thus supplement the efforts of other international financial institutions which focus on public infrastructure."
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit that the EU will permit new loans and provide "expertise" if Egypt is willing to make the necessary economic reforms to get them.
Meanwhile new parties are being formed through Facebook to counter the crowd out the Muslim Brotherhood. New Parties like the "25th of January Party" -- no indication of what it stands for in the name -- has garnered hundreds of thousands of "likes". Anothe Party, the "Freedom and Justic Party" is a magnet for a secular pro-free-market Egyptians looking for power and position in the new Egypt. But a hundred other parties are being financed, each directed at peeling away one or more demographic groupings from the Muslim Brotherhood.
This important work is proceeding as the world is distracted by the violence in Libya. By the time the world is ready to look at Egypt again, the nation will show an entirely different political landscape.
It is clear that the little people have lost again, that Egyptians have lost their revolution and that the people simply are not well enough informed to raise up their own alternative to domination by International Finance. "The so-called Egyptian revolution has been hijacked by the Rothschilds while the world has shifted its eyes to Libya.
"Citi has unveiled what it dubs the 3G countries: Global Growth Generators. The 11 countries it picks out as leading lights are Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Mongolia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam."
-- THe Wall Street Journal 2-24-2011
The closure of Egypt's banks for two of the past three weeks has added strain on an economy already reeling from the evaporation of tourism and a prolonged stock market closure caused by the political upheaval that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. The bank shutdown and the draining of ATM machines have paralyzed businesses and left ordinary people scrambling for cash.
The country's banks had long been a source of pride for Egyptians, with its strong regulatory environment and their lack of investments in the kind of toxic assets that hammered Western banks helped Egypt weather the worst of the global financial meltdown.
Two weeks Moody's Investors Service downgraded its credit ratings for five Egyptian banks. Future loans from international agencies will depend on eliminating those regulations and meeting other benchmarks for free-market reform.
Banks remained open the first few days of the 18-day democracy uprising. But after a weekend of looting, arson and lawlessness on Jan. 28-29, they closed for a week and many ATMs ran out of cash. The following week, the banks closed. They reopened the week of Feb. 6-10 and this week on Sunday. The military-led caretaker government has sought to re-establish a measure of normalcy after Mubarak's ouster. Banks reopened on Sunday and officials breathed a sigh of relief when a much-feared run on them did not materialize.- the first weekday after Mubarak's ouster. They closed again on Monday, the central bank ordering them to remain shut at least until the start of next week on Sunday.
A week ago, Credit Suisse estimated that the unrest had cost the country at least $310 million per day, and predicted the Egyptian currency would come under heavy pressure as investors shifted to dollar deposits or pulled their money out entirely.
The projections for economic growth this year were quickly revised down from 6 percent to between 2 and 4 percent.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) , on Tuesday, requested$1.4 billion is needed for lending from the European Union to support the transition to democracy in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries.
In addition, the bank wants clearance to reinvest money repaid from earlier transactions which will raise the total to $8.2 billion over three years.
EIB President Philippe Maystadt said the $8.2 billion would allow them to do something significant in coming years, especially for new projects in job creation for young people, who have become frustrated with lack of job opportunities and as a result, become the main drivers for uprisings.
In 2010, the EIB lent a record $3.5 billion to projects in the Arab region, making it the biggest provider of long-term financing there, Maystadt said.
That being said, Maystadt admitted of the $11.9 billion allocated between 2008 and 2013, only about $3.8 billion is left, and they are ready to do more.The EIB invests in new enterprises, lending funds to small and medium-sized companies, as well as investing in new transport, energy and infrastructure for new developments.
Typically, it raises money by issuing bonds, guaranteed by the EU against political risk.
Current projects include Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Algeria, but has not been authorized to invest in Libya.
"We love you, Egypt."
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