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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Reaction to state of emergency

The Ismail cabinet approved the imposition of a three-month state of emergency starting from 1:00 pm yesterday,reacting to a move by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Sunday. In accordance with the constitution, the decision must now be signed off by the House of Representatives within seven days. House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal invited Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to discuss the emergency law with MPs at today’s plenary session before it is put to a vote, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

TALKING HEADS ON THE ATTACKS, STATE OF EMERGENCY: Alaa Shahine asks on Bloomberg TV if the Egyptian government will follow through with the “tough” measures planned as part of the economic reform package following the terrorist attacks on Sunday. There are more tough decisions that should be taken during this period following the currency flotation and in an environment where inflation is running north of 33%. “The risk is will the government now think … let’s delay some of these tough decisions or reforms we have to take. This is something that people would be watching out for,” Shahine says. On imposing a state of emergency, he says “Egypt has been reaping the early gains from the IMF accord” but the next stage should be a resurgence in FDI inflows. Shahine suggests the behavior of foreigners on the EGX and in the local currency debt market will be a gauge for how the decision is being received (runtime 03:43).

Hani Sabra, head of the Mideast and North Africa practice at the Eurasia Group, tells Bloomberg the attacks “will make the military and broader security establishment very skittish, but will not force a major course correction on the economy unless it translates into broader unhappiness with the government’s performance.” He suggests that “what the authorities are more sensitive to than attacks on Coptic Christians is massive anti-government protests by middle class Egyptians — their core constituency that provide the state legitimacy.”

Robert Fisk does a hatchet job for The Independent, saying imposing a state of emergency shows that private investment cannot grow. Fisk read his tea leaves and suggests the state of emergency will “be going strong in a year’s time.”

The International Labor Organization’s Cairo office chief thinks the state ofemergency will have a negative impact on investment, Al Borsa reports.

Speaking as a member of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, Tarek Tawfik says theimpact of the emergency measures will be minimal. Tawfik added that the FEI is bringing in foreign business delegations and is planning roadshows abroad to promote investment in Egypt.

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