The 25th of January revolution in
Revolutionaries are keen to shed the old “puppet state” stigma from the days of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, whose regime received more than $50bn from the
Egyptian finance officials are scrambling to find internal fixes so that foreign aid isn’t necessary to cover a reported $28.5bn deficit. Polls show that an overwhelming majority of the population rejects foreign aid, especially from the
Foreign aid typically comes with conditions about how such money is spent, which many Egyptians interpret as making the country beholden to Western interests. The IMF’s offer over the weekend of a $3bn loan to
Pro-democracy activists say the long-time annual US aid package of up to $2bn – $1.3bn of it for the military – ensured that Mubarak’s authoritarian regime upheld the unpopular peace treaty with Israel and kept the Suez Canal open to facilitate American military operations in Iraq and the region. The joint US-Israel-Egypt enterprise that allowed tariff-free exports to the
The Muslim Brotherhoood's newly established Freedom and Justice Party is planning to focus on replacing
John Sandwick, an Islamic finance adviser in
Nothing is settled, as blogger Jesse McLaren, who has followed the Egyptian revolution, notes: “Despite the removal of Mubarak, his regime is still intact: the emergency laws and military trials of civilians are still in effect; police cracked down on demonstrators on Nakba Day and beat a bus driver to death in June.”
Workers are demanding a minimum wage of 1,200 Egyptian pounds ($200) a month. Women demonstrated in Tahrir on International Women's Day for government-funded child care, an end to discrimination in hiring and promotions, and an end to sexual harassment and violence against women. Peasants have began reclaiming the land.
“But these demands challenge the military regime and the corporations that support them, which persists despite Mubarak's overthrow. As a striking doctor said, ‘Every percentage point for increasing health care will come from the budget of the Ministry of Interior and other parts of the oppressive machine.’ The same economic crisis that contributed to the revolution is driving a deeper wedge between political reforms gained and the social and economic demands that have yet to be met,” McLaren rightly points out
The outcome of the political struggle will determine whether the country continues as a subordinate part of the web of finance and trade relations that unite the global capitalist economy or whether the popular revolt finds a leadership that sets out on a new path to not-for-profit social ownership.