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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 01/17/2012, 00.00


    Petrol shortages could spark more unrest as revolution’s anniversary approaches

    With the loss of foreign funds, Egyptian authorities might have to cut subsidies for petrol, diesel and gaz. This could lead to a huge jump in prices and further stoke an already high inflation (9.5 per cent). With Islamist groups roaming Egyptian cities unchecked, the tourist industry is taking a nosedive. Between 2010 and 2011, bookings are down 90 per cent.
    Cairo (AsiaNews) – As the first anniversary of Egypt’s Jasmine Revolution is rapidly approaching, the country faces a number of crises. Petrol and diesel fuel appear to be in short supply, the tourist sector has registered a 90 per cent drop, strikes and demonstrations are daily occurrences, and youth unemployment has reached 40 per cent with inflation at 9.5, up from 9.1 per cent in just a month. What is more, huge demonstrations against the military who took over after Mubarak’s fall are expected on the day of the anniversary, 25 January.

    On Monday in Cairo, Giza and other Egyptian cities, cars continued queuing at gas stations, which said they had no gas or diesel to pump, whilst prices jumped. So as not to congest traffic, local authorities ordered the stations to work only in the evening.

    Egypt's Oil Ministry on Monday dismissed claims of petrol shortages, saying that 21.5 million litres were already being pumped daily.

    "The amounts currently being distributed are sufficient to meet some 15, 000 tonnes of daily consumption," Energy Minister Abdullah Ghorab said, 2,000 more than the daily consumption.

    However, most Egyptians do not believe him and view the shortages as a prelude to a hike in the price of petrol and diesel fuel and a boom in black market sales. At present, petrol is one Egyptian pound (US$ 0.17) per litre thanks to subsidies.

    At the same time, the central bank has announced that foreign reserves have fallen to US$ 16 billion from US$ 36 billion at the beginning of 2011.This has seriously cut into the government’s capacity to provide subsidies.

    Economists now fear that higher fuel prices would push inflation above 10 per cent, which could lead to more unrest.

    Higher diesel could also knock out Egyptian Railways. Tracks have been blocked many times in the recent unrest, especially in Upper Egypt. In one year, the company lost about US$ 13 million.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, sources said that economic crisis is made worse by the collapse of the tourist sector.

    “The victory by Islamist parties has led to such levels of intolerance that tourists have been scared off,” he said.

    “Salafists but also members of the Muslim Brotherhood want to close down beaches, restaurants, bars and hotels because they violate Islamic principles. In Luxor and other cities, famous for their architecture and ancient archaeological sites, Salafist candidates running for the Nour party have called for the total shutdown of monuments. They don’t realise that they are sentencing Egypt to cultural isolation and poverty.”

    Between 2010 and 2011, bookings drop by 90 per cent according to industry sources. The government disagrees, citing different numbers. According to the authorities, the decline was around 33 per cent. Some agencies note however that government figures include as tourists thousands of Libyan refugees. (S.C.)
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    See also

    25/01/2012 EGYPT
    Tahrir Square revolution one year on. State of emergency abolished in Egypt
    The head of the Military Council, Hussein Tantawi, has decreed the end of thirty years the law that allowed arrest and detention without trial. Two thousand activists sentenced by military courts in recent months are released. Among them the blogger Maikel Nabil, after 130 days of hunger strike.

    25/01/2013 EGYPT
    Young Egyptian leader calls on West to back anti-Islamist struggle
    On the second anniversary of the Jasmine Revolution, millions of young people demonstrate across the country against the government led by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists. Since the fall of the Mubarak regime, nothing has changed. For Nagui Damian, a young Coptic leader, people are ready for anything to make their voice heard. There are fears that people might clash, even violently, with police.

    13/07/2011 EGYPT
    The military and the economy, the Egyptian spring’s enemies
    People are unhappy with the military. So far, no official involved in the death of 900 people killed in Tahrir Square has been tried. Young people continue to protest in favour of a new Egypt; they are the only hope for the country’s future at a time of economic crisis.

    19/07/2011 EGYPT
    Army slowing reforms to sink revolution
    The economic crisis is killing the ideals of the Arab spring. The military are against democracy, and refuse to hand over former regime officials to the justice system. More than US$ 9.5 billion in aid are still lying unused in state coffers. Sources tell AsiaNews that they fear the rise of a theocratic regime with the tacit agreement of Western nations.

    25/01/2012 EGYPT
    Tahrir Square flooded by people who want to continue the Jasmine Revolution
    Nagui Diamian, a young Catholic Coptic leader, talks about the youth protest a year since the demonstrations that led to the fall of President Mubarak. Thousands have arrived from all over Egypt to demand real change for the country, which is still in the hands of the military. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists try to monopolise the situation following their electoral victory.

    Editor's choices

    On “Hong Kong sectors” supposedly "against Francis"

    John Mok Chit Wai

    A scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who collaborates with AsiaNews, responds to accusations against the agency and people in Hong Kong with respect to criticism of the Vatican’s diplomatic approach towards China. Religious freedom is a fundamental human right and a universal value, whether in China, Russia or the Middle East. Between "Right" and "Left", China defines itself as left, yet it practices state capitalism and unfettered capitalism just as "right-wing governments" do. Gaudium et Spes calls on the faithful to engage in politics against the "arbitrary domination by [. . .] a political party,” like in China.

    The "enemies" of Pope Francis

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    The charge made against AsiaNews that we are against the Pope and in favor of Putin, is an opportunity to outline what motivates our commitment to evangelization. And also to ask for greater professionalism from those who write about the Pope. The Pope does not need public defenders. Facilitating dialogue between "conservatives" and "progressives" to realize the Council and concern ourselves with the world so that it encounters Jesus Christ. Christ’s “enemies” were also his "friends."


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