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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Egypt - at the threshold of democracy?
Author:Field, MichaelISNI
Periodical:Vierteljahres-Berichte: Probleme der internationalen Zusammenarbeit
Geographic term:Egypt
economic policy
Abstract:The Gulf crisis of 1990-1991 was a decisive moment in Egypt's recent history. Egypt's losses were more than made up for by the rise in the price of oil, and by the payments it received from Saudi Arabia for its military assistance. For the longer term it faced the prospect of being able to send its labourers to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and of being forgiven further sums of debt. This unlocked the door to serious economic reform. By the end of 1991, Egypt had implemented, or seemed to be committed to, all of the financial reforms the IMF had demanded. What was not so impressive was its performance in implementing the privatization of State corporations. The slowness of the privatization programme stems not just from the lack of expertise, but from an unspoken ambivalence at the top of the government and resistance lower down. Egypt's long-term economic prospects are largely determined by the high increase of its population. Political reform has been slow because of the threat to stability posed by the Islamic fundamentalists, but the basic freedoms of a democratic society are gradually becoming more deeply rooted. Sum. in English (p. 317), German (p. 313) and French (p. 321).