Egypt: Unrest continues throughout the country. Unemployment in increasing; shortages of diesel are growing; nobody is collecting the garbage; fighting between Muslims and 9 percent of the country that are Christian Copts has begun; USDA warns that Cairo is overestimating the size of the upcoming wheat crop; and the IMF negotiators are still in town taking testimony about the pros and cons of forcing the country to slash food and fuel subsidies in return for a $4.8 billion loan. Many observers are saying the IMF has it wrong in going after the Egypt’s food and fuel subsidies as the country would simply collapse if these subsidies are removed too quickly.
Egypt’s Oil Minister wants to spend $18 billion to build new refineries and improve existing plants. The government says it will start issuing fuel rationing cards in July to stem the black market and to direct the subsidies to those most in need.
In the meantime, Egypt’s neighbors are becoming increasingly concerned that the 82 million person country will collapse, spreading chaos across the region. Qatar and Libya have come up with multi-billion dollar loans in an effort to keep the country stable.
Posted on Tuesday, April 16th 2013