NEWS | The Crisis in Egypt is Feeding on the Growing Social Malaise
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NEWS | The Crisis in Egypt is Feeding on the Growing Social Malaise

By Federica Fanuli
Editor-at-Large, IndraStra Global

NEWS | The Crisis in Egypt is Feeding on the Growing Social Malaise

Image Attribute: Egyptian President General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Moscow, 
Source: Kremlin, Public Domain

Egypt is facing a difficult economic situation exacerbated by debt, by poverty, youth unemployment and the crisis of tourism, strained by jihadist terrorism, which has hampered the flow of tourists and investors into the country. 

A crisis which is feeding on the growing social malaise instigated an unsuccessful Tahrir Square protests, which was called upon to protest against austerity measures taken by the administration of the incumbent President General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Prior to that, in the last week of October, Egyptian security forces raided the offices of the independent online newspaper "al Tareeq" in plainclothes, which ended without any journalist being arrested or anything being seized from the newspaper. The growing repressive measures by the security forces against the secular and religious oppositions are all pointing towards internal political instability which worries the international community.     

In order to curb the rampant economic and social crisis, President al-Sisi has launched a series of financial reforms, as required by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a loan of $12billion dollars a year for three years.  He has warned there would be no going back on economic reforms, no matter how much pain they might cause.

Also, the priority of the current government is to bring Egypt out of the diplomatic paralysis, redraw the international alliances so that the country can be repositioned based on the prevailing scenario in the Middle East, along with that, attracting the substantial amount of investments from Russia.  

In accordance, the Egyptian government has launched a series of negotiations with the Kremlin for the granting of the military base at Sidi Barrani, occupied until 1972 by the Soviet Union, and the settlement of an active Russian contingent on the Egyptian soil.    

On the other hand, the risks of undermining the diplomatic relations with the Saud dynasty is also rising. The relations which are already getting complicated due to the gradual normalization of relations between Egypt and Iran, and also by the recently concluded agreement with the current Iraqi government to boost Egypt's oil needs, after the suspension of oil shipment by Saudi Aramco that has interrupted hydrocarbon supply chain of the country.

Egypt is going through a delicate political phase that shows signs of possible financial collapse based on prevailing social parameters. President al-Sisi must unlock the country's economy and at the same time restore the Egyptian diplomatic role with its old regional partners if he wants to prevent a new Arab Spring to overwhelm his regime.

About the Author:

Federica Fanuli is Editor-at-Large with IndraStra Global.  She tweets at @seipolpette