Monday, November 21, 2011

The pressure is rising in Egypt

The civilian leadership within Egypt's national government has stepped down, in a serious sign of discontent with the military's handling of the recent protests. As CBS News reports, the mass resignations come on the same day as protests continued.

Reporting before the resignations were submitted, Reuters noted that the on-going clashes had the potential to undermine the political and economic gains the country had been making.

Even before this month's clashes between government forces and protestors in Cairo, which have killed at least 33 people since Saturday, Egypt was heading toward monetary turmoil as the central bank battled to keep the pound stable by running down its foreign exchange reserves.
The recent violence, which calls into question whether Egypt can smoothly hold parliamentary elections beginning next week, is likely to increase pressure on the reserves and may bring a full-blown crisis forward to the next several months from the late-2012 tipping point previously predicted by some analysts.
"Even in advance of recent events we were very concerned about the balance of payments and the burn-through in reserves," said Farouk Soussa, Middle East chief economist at Citigroup.

Meanwhile, there are other media reports suggesting that the military's response to Sunday's protests led to at least 30 deaths.

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