Forget Islamists, the International Monetary Fund Is the Real Danger to the Egyptian Regime

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump meets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L) at the White House in Washington, United States on April 3, 2017

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is obsessive about threats to his rule, or as he would say, to Egypt’s stability. He’s hunted down Islamists and banned the Muslim Brotherhood. His safety providers have cracked down on the media, the web and nongovernmental organizations.

Reportedly he’s notably frightened of center class millennials, the type of people that fomented the 2011 revolution.

As they are saying, even paranoids can have enemies. However in Sissi’s case his obsession appears to have missed out on the most important risk of all, and that’s none aside from smooth-talking technocrats on the Worldwide Financial Fund.

It’s straightforward to know why Sissi is perhaps oblivious to the hazard. In contrast to Islamists, the IMF doesn’t need to deliver down his rule and, not like bloggers, the media and NGOs, it by no means criticizes him in public, or it does so in such mild phrases that it’s a must to be an skilled on wonk-speak to acknowledge it.  Fairly on the contrary, when Egypt and Sissi had been in dire monetary straits three years in the past, the IMF came up with a desperately needed $12 billion loan.

The end result has been a exceptional turnaround for the Egyptian economic system, actually compared to the grim years after Hosni Mubarak was toppled. Egyptian GDP grew 5.6% in its newest fiscal yr and can most likely match or exceed it in every of the following two years. Unemployment is down and inflation, which at one level reached a 33% annual charge, is now a “mere” eight.7%. The federal government’s finances deficit is falling as its overseas debt relative to the dimensions of the economic system.

These are the form of metrics that rising market buyers, and IMF economists, take a look at first within the growing world.

However the IMF is infamous for imposing painful phrases. In Egypt’s case the $12 billion was contingent on liberalizing trade charges, chopping gas and meals subsidies, privatizing corporations and imposing new taxes. Sissi did most of what he was requested and the IMF cut Egypt the final $2 billion check last week.