In today's episode:
- 1. Syria - US to arm Syrian rebels?
- 2. Egypt - Egypt suspends tax rises, putting IMF loan at risk
- 3. Bahrain - Shiite protestors demand Bahrain PM’s ouster
- 4. Austerity in Europe - Greek opposition leader calls for European debt conference
- 5. Under the Radar - Venezuela’s Chavez’s cancer returns, leaves Vice-President in charge
If Egypt needs short term or long term funding; how is it possible that the Persian Gulf States namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the rest cannot help Egypt with no interest loans with no strings attached? The example is Venezuela helping out Argentina to get out from under the IMF!
The IMF and The World Bank only make “debt slaves” out of countries. It’s totally disingenuous for anyone to suggest otherwise. Many African and Latin American Countries walked down this IMF road in the 1980’s which led directly to the impoverishment of their countries and their peoples. The conditionalities are draconian – cuts to food and petrol subsidies, cut the number of government workers, starve hospitals of equipment and supplies, cuts to schools, raise taxes on consumer goods, sell off your oil industry, etc, etc.
And yes, if President Morsi wants to take Egypt down this road; then he’s just another sellout. I see him as being intelligent enough to know the difference between selling out and actually working for the Egyptian People. There is no ambiguity here and the Egyptian People know it!
Let me just add one other note about Qaddafi and Egypt allowing him to be taken down by NATO. He(Qaddafi) offered to create a merged state between Egypt and Libya, which would have solved Egypt’s debt problems, but Mubarak refused. Who would have been the winner if this had happened? Egypt has close to 100 million people and Libya less than 10 million. Instead, Mubarak chose to tie Egypt to Washington aid handouts and most of its foreign policy. Mubarak did refuse to participate in the Bush II Iraq War, but President Morsi will be on a much shorter leash with Washington if he takes the IMF deal. This is not aid, but harsh austerity laced loans.
These IMF Loans are “rolled over” perpetually, so that it’s almost impossible to break free of the debts. And the austerity screws are tighten and privatizations increased with each “roll over” cycle further impoverishing the people. Is this where Egypt wants to go?