07/13/2011, 00.00
EGYPT
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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.
Cairo (AsiaNews) – Six months after the fall of Mubarak, Egyptians are frustrated with the military’s refusal to try the men responsible for the death of 900 people killed during clashes in Tahrir Square. Sources told AsiaNews that the big protests on 8 July in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez are a sign that the ideals born of the Jasmine Revolution are still alive. “People want justice; they are tired of the government’s lies,” they said.

Recently Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has ordered the suspension of police accused of killing protesters in Tahrir Square. At the same time, he has threatened the use of force against protesters.

Despite the warnings, more than 50,000 people gathered in the square for a peaceful protest. No clashes with police were reported.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has lost all credibility with the people, sources say. Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, and his prime minister are deemed too compromised with the former regime.

“People protest because of inaction by the government and the military,” a source said. The latter “are under pressure from those who want to take power. The young people in Tahrir Square are especially afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood’s duplicity: supports for a secular state in order to join a future government.”

Egyptians are especially angry because of the economic crisis caused by the country’s political instability. In just a few months, the average salary has dropped by 20 per cent—in some sectors the decline has been up to 80 per cent.

“Tourism has been halved and foreign companies have cancelled investments,” the source explained. Likewise, the United States and Western nations are only trying to protect their economic interests and do not support the revolution.”

“Yet, it is surprising how, in such a situation, Egyptians, especially the young, are fighting every day to give Egypt a new face,” the sources said. “This is a sign of hope for the country’s future.” (S.C.)
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