Breakingviews

Egypt fosters false economic expectations

November 29, 2011

In the post-Mubarak era, the Muslim Brotherhood’s call for “social justice” is now popular with every political force. But the concept means different things to rich and poor. Delivering the democratic dividend will be hard for any new government. Failure may lead to more unrest.

Egypt-Israel energy ties look broken

April 25, 2012

It is hard to believe that Egypt’s termination of a long-term contract to supply gas to Israel is a pure business dispute given the odd timing of the move. In the absence of a resolution Israel faces some difficult months. That’s bad for peace but doesn’t destroy it.

Iran offers Egypt limited lesson in subsidy reform

April 26, 2012

The IMF says Cairo should look to Tehran’s example in its bid to reform energy subsidies. But a poor country like Egypt can hardly afford Iran’s near-universal and inflationary cash handouts at a time when it needs to slash public spending.

Qatar play for EFG Hermes stokes backlash in Egypt

June 6, 2012

The possible bidding war for the investment bank illustrates the growing fears about the emirate’s influence in post-Mubarak Egypt. EFG agreed to be partially taken over by QInvest. But the Gulf state’s rivals promise to keep the bank whole, and Egyptian. Now anything can happen.

No quick wins for Egypt’s new Islamist president

June 25, 2012

For the Muslim Brotherhood, victory is bittersweet. The top job carries little power and might not last long. Securing an international aid deal would be the fastest way to jumpstart the economy and consolidate support. But donors may look on Egypt just as warily as before.

Saudi $4 bln lifeline to Egypt won’t come for free

May 23, 2011

Autocratic governments can act faster than multi-lateral financial institutions. Saudi Arabia's $4 billion lifeline to Egypt comes just as the country is still discussing an aid package with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Egypt needs a reconstruction fund too

By Hugo Dixon
March 24, 2011

Japan will be spending tens of billions of dollars on rebuilding after its tsunami. Egypt can't afford to finance an equivalent fund after its political tsunami. But foreign powers could help by showing they are not just interested in bombing neighbouring Libya.

Swiss make life a bit more difficult for despots

February 14, 2011

Switzerland's decision to freeze assets belonging to Hosni Mubarak after he was ousted smacks of hypocrisy: after all, the former Egyptian president and his family have long been suspected of enriching themselves at the country's expense.

End of Mubarak rule isn’t end of problem

By Pierre Briancon
February 11, 2011

Markets took the Mubarak news with relief, having plunged earlier on fears that he would obstinately cling to power, and his country might descend into uncontrolled violence. But the relief rally may be premature.

Egypt a reminder for U.S. to hang onto its gas

By Christopher Swann
February 8, 2011

With foreign prices twice their level in the United States, gas producers are raring to export a good chunk of America's natural gas bounty. But it's a risky bet for builders of pricey shipping terminals. And unrest in the Middle East should ram home to policymakers the wisdom of using natural resources at home to reduce foreign energy dependence.