"Failure to fix Egypt's economy could lead to second revolution"

That's the conclusion of a new paper by Jane Kinnimont for Chatham House [PDF], which argues that too much of what politicians promise is vague and without basis, that the Muslim Brothers could find themselves soon at odds with labor movements, that the subsidy system now in place is both failing to address inequality and costing the government too much, and much more. 

It's worth reading alongside this piece on the lingering confusion over when the IMF rescue package for Egypt will be approved by the government, and what string are attached, as well as whether the next government will be expected to carry the same kind of "austerity measures" we've seen in Greece over the last year (in my opinion, this would be a disaster) — and if not, how it will finance expenditures. In the meantime, a few days ago Saudi Arabia became the first country since last year not to wait for the IMF deal to start disbursing loans and grants to Egypt, for a total of about $1.5bn.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.