Only a thousand families count in a country that Mubarak and his cronies regard as their fiefdom
Contributed by Yasmin
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 6 February 2011
"There is a lot more behind Hosni Mubarak digging in his heels and setting his thugs on the peaceful protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square than pure politics. This is also about money. Mubarak and the clique surrounding him have long treated Egypt as their fiefdom and its resources as spoils to be divided among them.
Under sweeping privatisation policies, they appropriated profitable public enterprises and vast areas of state-owned lands. A small group of businessmen seized public assets and acquired monopoly positions in strategic commodity markets such as iron and steel, cement and wood. While crony capitalism flourished, local industries that were once the backbone of the economy were left to decline. At the same time, private sector industries making environmentally hazardous products like ceramics, marble and fertilisers have expanded without effective regulation at a great cost to the health of the population.....
Egypt was governed as a private estate. Mubarak's immediate family is implicated in crony capitalist activities as partners of most of the businessmen who benefited from the regime's corruption. These beneficiaries do not want to leave their palaces, beaches and resorts, lucrative businesses and extreme riches....."