Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gulf 'gifts' fill budget gap but raise suspicions

Al-Masry Al-Youm

"After turning down loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Egypt is now turning to oil-rich Arab Gulf States to finance its budget deficit.

Some of the money is supposedly being given freely, as “gifts” rather than loans, but some fear that accepting the money will come with political baggage and behind-the-scenes deals. The grants come as Egypt is testing its foreign policy in the region.

The irony of a newly-democratic Egypt turning to the traditional monarchies stifling dissent within their own borders has not been lost on many commentators.

Why, how, what did we do to get their satisfaction?” said Reda Issa, an independent economic researcher who objects to Egypt taking money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. “Why are they offering to give this money? Why now? Nobody knows.”

Just months ago, Gulf states did not express support for the revolution, said Issa,
Because their interests do not align with the forces that overthrew Hosni Mubarak, he said Egypt should be wary of their money.....

Saudi Arabia in particular, formerly a strong ally with Mubarak, does not currently enjoy a good reputation among most Egyptians.

In the days following the uprising, many speculated that Saudi royalty and businesses were funding a counterrevolutionary movement, perhaps even providing money to extremists that would incite sectarian violence......"

No comments: