Aug 02 2012
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Qandil’s cabinet has to offer economic revival
Thursday, Aug 02, 2012
The new cabinet in Egypt is an indication that the country may get some valuable political calm. Egypt desperately needs a period of political stability in which its dangerously weak economy can recover. The disastrous combination of the collapse of the country’s GDP in the past year and its soaring rate of unemployment could cause enough social misery to destabilise any gains made in the political arena.
This is why the real focus of yesterday’s announcement of the new Egyptian government has to be its economic portfolios, and why the incoming Prime Minister Hesham Qandil was right to insist on “competence” as the sole criterion for the appointments. The new government should prioritise issuing clear new laws and procedures which will allow new investors and established businesses to gauge the risks accurately and proceed with their plans. Without rebuilding this confidence, any hopes the new Egyptian government might have of putting Egypt back at the forefront of Arab affairs will be doomed to failure.
The reappointment of Field Marshal Mohammad Tantawi as minister of defence will be a disappointment to liberals, but has been widely accepted as an inevitable compromise between the Islamist presidency and the military legacy establishment.
Housing is a vital area of patronage, which allows the government to influence access to housing and improvements, in an area that directly affects millions of voters. These two decisions show that the Islamist president and his prime minister are looking to the long term, and are ready to put up with short-term compromises. This skill bodes well for Egypt’s stability.
Gulf News 2012. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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