Benefit Today, Regret Tomorrow
Egypt’s military-coup government took out loans of billions of dollars from a number of countries, mainly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. That included aid in kind, such as oil and kerosene, and deals of riot resistance weapons. This is known to everyone.
What is not known to many is that the torrent of aid has stopped flowing, or nearly so. There are several reasons, most importantly that the al-Beblawi* government spent 16 billion dollars in about six months and yet conditions remain the same. The street is boiling and the economy is collapsing day after day, which means that whoever loans Egypt a dime without guarantees is as if he is throwing his money into the sea. We are looking at a state on the verge of collapse, and governments that have no say in their affairs.
Accordingly, the circumstances changed. It seems that the regimes supporting the coup are dealing today with an economic-partner approach. And it seems that the economic program of the “awaited” presidential candidate, who is so hesitant that he does not want to announce his candidacy, will be merely economic projects whereby Egypt will be sold by one tenth of its value to the Saudis, Emiratis and Russians. Egypt has actually become on offer for sale to those who will recognize the coup government.
Some countries imagine that an opportunity is knocking, not realizing that who they are dealing with today will not be in power one day not far away, and that they will not be able to procure what they contracted for today because they bought it from those with no standing for such authority. Economic partnership with a country the size of Egypt in projects the size of the Suez Canal, for example, must pass through an elected parliament. Such deals, of a security-strategic-economic nature, must be submitted to the Egyptian public opinion. Otherwise, if this does not occur, the natural result will be a loss to all parties, and the biggest loser will be the one who gave out his people’s money to a group that seized power in a centuries-old nation.
No one has the right to conclude the major deals talked about in the corridors of power these days without going back to the Egyptian people. The current situation in Egypt—by the very admission of those in power—is a transitional phase. The current government is not authorized in any way to enter into contracts for long-term or medium-term projects, because it is temporary in its own eyes, a usurper in the eyes of a large portion of the Egyptian people, and illegitimate in the eyes of the majority of nations worldwide.
Few countries support the coup. These will soon pay the price of its failure. The voices within these countries that oppose the support of the coup are growing louder each day due to the revealing of the truth of the failure awaiting this infertile march that started with a lie, walked over dead bodies, and will reach just punishment, God willing.
Below is advice that I addressed several months ago to the governments that made a mistake with their support of the coup, (see al-Shorouq Egyptian newspaper, Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 issue):
\"To the countries that think they will buy Egypt unawares, the Egyptian people is not responsible for any deals conducted with a forged power of attorney. We are not responsible for any agreements based on which the Egyptian people will be burdened with debts that do not benefit anyone except a group of palace owners. Egypt will not be owned by your cross-continental corporations. Only elected leaders are entitled to speak on behalf of Egypt. Therefore, take time to deliberate and do not buy the tramway.\"
Unfortunately, no one listened to this advice. Some are still continuing the march of taking advantage of the deteriorating economic conditions caused by the third-of-July coup. We hereby reiterate the advice once more, loud and clear: Egypt is not a country without an owner, nor is it the estate of this or that person. The world has changed and the current situation will not last, so try to look for the interests of your people with a deeper look and a wider perspective. For you will benefit today, and regret tomorrow.
Long live Egypt for Egyptians and by Egyptians.
* al-Beblawi was interim prime-minister of the Egyptian government from mid-2013 (post the deposing of former president Morsi by the army) till early 2014. (translator’s note)
- Original article in Arabic by AbdulRahman Yusuf “Entafeou al-Yaoum wa Endamou Ghadan” was published on the Arabi21 site on March 22, 2014: http://arabi21.com/Story/736581