Egypt Protests Send Economy Into Crisis

Egyptians frustrated that end of Mubarak rule has not spurred economy

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2011 7:48 AM CST

(Newser) – The ongoing public unrest in Egypt is now threatening to devastate the country's economy and turn into a full-bore financial crisis, reports the AP. Continued protests, violent crackdowns, and a huge decline in tourism have driven Egypt's annual growth rate down to just 1% from its usual 7%, rocked the stock market, and caused foreign reserves to fall nearly 40% this year. "There's enough money left in the coffers to get through the year, but not much beyond that," says one economist. "Crunch time is two to three months away."

Months after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians are frustrated to see that democracy has not brought higher standards of living. "No one comes any more," complains one guide by the Giza pyramids, who initially offered the reporter hashish. "What can I do? I have to make a living." Adds another man, "Why can't [protesters] see that they're destroying the country?" The activists say "they want democracy and freedom, but don't understand that it comes with responsibility." Reuters notes that violence returned to the streets of Cairo today after Thursday's truce, with one killed in a clash between protesters and police.

An Egyptian protestor walks with his national flag in front of a road barricade near the Egyptian Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo, Egypt, yesterday.
An Egyptian protestor walks with his national flag in front of a road barricade near the Egyptian Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo, Egypt, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
Egyptian youths are seen reflected in a puddle while standing near the Egyptian Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.
Egyptian youths are seen reflected in a puddle while standing near the Egyptian Interior Ministry in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 25, 2011.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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