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Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Egypt today, like when Nero burnt Rome

Egypt today, like when Nero burnt Rome | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

As far as my understanding goes, nothing similar has happened to Egypt like what it is currently witnessing. No other country has passed through this complicated phase we are living. There is this tampering with the state’s constituents and a crazy surge towards tearing apart the country’s fabric.

 

I do not think it has happened before that rulers let their country’s situation reach this phase while they carelessly observed and are only concerned with being the sole leaders. What is certain is that rulers’ chairs are comfortable. The ruling palaces are wider. Their jets cannot be compared with three-wheeled rickshaws seen on the streets. But what kind of enjoyment is this when the state is collapsing?

Egypt’s ruling party only possesses an image of the state they want, and it is not a problem if the price is the collapse of the state which they are suffocating. This is what Emperor Nero did when he burnt Rome.

 

In 64 AD Nero had the idea of rebuilding Rome. Fire started at the Circus Maximus and vigorously spread for a week across Rome. The fire destroyed ten of the entire fourteen districts. As the fire spread and people screamed as they burnt, Nero sat in a high tower enjoying the scene of the fire (...)

Initial fears

What I say may seem over-pessimistic. But I see it as a realistic fear that could lead to tragic results.

The first of these initial fears is the complete disregard for any other power in society whether it is religious, political or ethnic. There are also their actions based on the logic that they are the country and their voice is that of the entire people and there is no voice beside it. They began to make statements regarding how they came into power. So they began to market the idea that they rule because voting was in their favor although they are the first of those who know how the results of these elections were and are controlled.

They know better about their own means. It is a snatched legitimacy on the truth’s body nurtured by lies and elimination of others. The weakness that struck the opposing parties supports and nurtures this snatched legitimacy. But they are careless about the static force that they mistakenly think is under their control. (...)

 

Harming the concept of the state and pushing towards reaching a state of chaos is one of the features of the behavior of today’s rulers. This is displayed in that devilish desire to push for causing a general confrontation between the people and the police. (...)

 

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/17/Egypt-today-like-when-Nero-burnt-Rome.html

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Egypt’s descent into lawlessness a bitter own goal

Egypt’s descent into lawlessness a bitter own goal | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Protest has become a way of life for many Egyptians all over the country. Everyone seems to have a gripe; everyone is aware that something is rotten in the state of Egypt but there’s little consensus on how to put things right.

Scenes of angry demonstrators firing buildings and choking under clouds of teargas has become routine television watching, so much so that most café patrons simply glance at the screen and sigh before resuming their conversations or a game of dominoes.

On Friday, a court ruling confirming sentencing for those involved in a riot last year during a football match between Cairo’s Al Ahly and Port Said’s Masry club that robbed 74 fans (most Al Ahly supporters) of their lives pleased no one. (...) A large banner erected over the port’s [of Port-Said] entrance called for the city’s secession from Egypt, echoing an action taken by the city of Mahalla which declared its independence last year. Last week, the Interior Ministry withdrew its police forces from Port Said in the hope of calming tensions eliciting celebrations. Ostensibly, the army now has control of the city except the military is eschewing policing duties announcing it is only responsible for protecting state buildings and the canal. (...)

 

The general mood is one of helplessness and anxiety. It’s evident that a government overwhelmed by violent opposition and a security apparatus that’s breaking apart - over 30 police stations around the country are on strike - has lost direction and control, so much so that an increasing number of people are nostalgic for “the good old days” when Mubarak was at the helm. Placards asking Mubarak, who’s ailing and behind bars, for forgiveness are commonly seen.

 

Many more are calling upon the military to step-in and to prove their seriousness, are signing personal powers of attorney in the name of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; ironic when just months ago, the thought of a military coup was anathema for almost everyone.  President Mohammad Mursi is in a quandary. An authoritarian approach only incites increased rage in a nation that suffered for over 30 years under a virtual dictatorship. On the other hand, a laissez-faire policy is bringing the country to its economic knees.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Instability has Egypt’s regional friends with fat pockets backing-off; investment has dried up along with tourism. (...) The government’s attempt to raise income, property and sales taxes in accordance with IMF conditions associated with a $4.8 billion loan is severely impacting the poor in a country where an estimated 50 million subsist below the poverty line. (...) Democracy isn’t doing too well either.(...)

 

A national unity government representing all sides of the political and religious spectrum and made up of veteran politicians and technocrats is the only sensible way forward. Mursi must admit that he can’t do it alone and reach out to the opposition. As Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”.

 

More on: http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/13-Mar-2013/egypt-s-descent-into-lawlessness-a-bitter-own-goal

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La nouvelle Egypte ne sera pas islamiste

La nouvelle Egypte ne sera pas islamiste | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Rencontre avec Monseigneur Yohanna GOLTA, auxiliaire du Patriarche copte catholique d'Alexandrie.

 

Doté d’une vaste culture aussi bien chrétienne qu’islamique, Mgr Yohanna Golta (75 ans) est auxiliaire du Patriarcat copte catholique d’Alexandrie. Il est aussi porte-parole de nombreux organismes à la pointe du dialogue islamo-chrétien, au niveau national et international. À l’heure actuelle, l’évêque est un des membres chrétiens de l’Assemblée constituante qui rédige la nouvelle constitution de la République égyptienne au lendemain de la révolution de la place Tahrir (où eurent lieu les prémices de la révolution au début de l’année 2011).

 

Monseigneur Golta, comment sont traités les droits des minorités dans l’Assemblée constituante égyptienne ?

Tout d’abord, il faut rappeler que l’Assemblée constituante est composée à 50% des Frères Musulmans et à 20% d’amis des Frères Musulmans. Les 30% restants représentent les libéraux, les chrétiens etc. Par conséquent, les islamistes auront toujours la voix plus haute et détiendront la majorité.

Mais il faut souligner que les différentes parties se sont mises d’accord pour décider non pas par un vote à la majorité mais en obtenant un consensus. Je peux dire que l’influence islamique sur l’Assemblée constituante est très nette ; notamment celle des salafistes qui ont une vision très étroite. (...) Ils refusent la liberté de la femme et la liberté de religion. Nous avons lutté contre cette approche, de concert avec de nombreux musulmans modérés (parmi lesquels des Frères Musulmans), sans que pour autant nos relations avec les Frères Musulmans soient altérées. L’unique solution c’est le dialogue amical. (...) Les Frères Musulmans ont le plein contrôle de tous les pouvoirs : l’un des leurs est Président de la République, un autre Premier ministre, ils dominent le Parlement, de nombreux gouverneurs sont des leurs… Ils sont très satisfaits de leur victoire. Il faut donc attendre un peu pour que ce sentiment de satisfaction retombe. Néanmoins, tout cela ne signifie pas que la majorité de la population égyptienne accepte cette situation (...)

 

Voulez-vous dire que l’Égypte réelle est plus libérale que sa représentation politique actuelle ?

Je veux dire que le Printemps arabe, les révolutions arabes, sont une évolution normale, naturelle. On parle de sociétés très influencées par le facteur religieux. En Égypte 40% de la population est analphabète (...)

 

C’est un monde analphabète et très religieux. Ce qui ne veut pas dire qu’ils ont une foi authentique. La foi c’est autre chose que la religion. Par conséquent, qu’ils aient accédé au pouvoir est en un certain sens normal. C’est une évolution historique. Les gens étaient très contents à l’idée que la religion puisse exercer un rôle prédominant. Mais maintenant les gens commencent déjà à déchanter. C’est l’évolution historique. (...)

 

Mais pendant ce temps-là, on écrit la Loi fondamentale qui régulera la vie et les rapports entre les Égyptiens. Pensez-vous que le degré de liberté et de démocratie d’un pays se mesure aux droits qu’il reconnaît à ses minorités ?

Oui. Mais attention ! Dans le monde arabe, l’expérience nous enseigne que la Constitution n’a jamais été respectée. Ni par des présidents ou des rois, ni par des gouvernements ou des peuples. Dans le monde arabe, la Constitution est comme une médaille, mais la respecte-t-on vraiment ? Sous Moubarak, il y avait une Constitution, mais elle était souvent mise en défaut. Le Président agissait comme il voulait. Son parti politique a toujours fait la pluie et le beau temps. On peut prendre n’importe quel passage de la Constitution et l’interpréter chacun à sa façon (...)

 

Plus: http://www.oeuvre-orient.fr/2013/03/12/la-nouvelle-egypte-ne-sera-pas-islamiste/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=la-nouvelle-egypte-ne-sera-pas-islamiste

 

 

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No Fear: Mursi’s rule of law

No Fear: Mursi’s rule of law | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Why should I respect the judges? My own president doesn’t.
[Protestor, Port Said]

As though anyone needed another reminder. As though anyone had not quite received the message when prisons were stormed in Port Said, after the judges pronounced a suspicious verdict. As though anyone had not realised that the institutions of Egypt are being weakened – and Egyptian citizens would pay the price if they were weakened further. Yet, after the Administrative Court of Egypt cancelled the parliamentary elections due to begin next month, it seems that many do indeed need that reminder. The question is – how many reminders will it take?

Under now deposed president Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian state had its pillars. One of them was brought down in the January 25th uprising – the ‘pillar of fear’. Regardless of the botched nature of this transition, the Egyptian revolution has accomplished at least one thing – it has ripped to shreds the curtain of fear.

That, no-one can deny, was a good thing. However, there is a corollary to consider here – if the ‘pillar of fear’ was so strong in Mubarak’s Egypt, then what has filled in the void that it used to occupy? Or did it not serve a purpose to begin with?

The reality is – it did serve a purpose, by creating a purpose. When a state apparatus is so absolute, and fear is so prevalent, it does ensure that individuals do not step out of certain predefined norms. In countries where such an apparatus does not exist, something else fills in that void. Civil society institutions; respect between the state and the citizen; a social contract; and so forth.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Filling the void

When the pillar disappeared, a void did emerge – and in the last two years, no one in Egypt’s ruling elite has tried to fill it. The military council that governed Egypt for 18 months was uninterested in doing so – it left it empty, and it left the other institutions alone. Neither was satisfactory – the state’s institutions needed to be reformed after the revolutionary uprising, not left to their own devices. This is particularly the case if fear, which animated so much of Egyptian society prior to the uprising, was no longer the tool of the state.

 

More on: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/2013/03/10/No-Fear-Mursi-s-rule-of-law.html

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In Egypt, sliding toward ruin

In Egypt, sliding toward ruin | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

As Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government slides toward the financial cliff, what’s the right policy for the United States? That’s becoming an urgent question, as Egypt’s financial reserves decline and the country nears a new breaking point.

The economic facts are stark: Egypt’s official foreign-currency reserves in February were $13.5 billion, which would cover a little less than three months of imports. But U.S. officials say that accessible, liquid reserves total only $6 billion to $7 billion. Already, imports are harder to find, including the raw materials needed by Egyptian manufacturers. The Egyptian stock market tumbled 5 percent early this week, sensing danger ahead.

 

And what is the government of President Mohamed Morsi doing to halt the economic decline? Not a lot. Morsi has been dithering for a year in negotiating a roughly $5 billion rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Egypt desperately needs. He is delaying because he is wary of public anger at the reforms the IMF demands, including reductions in subsidies, which take 25 percent of Egypt’s budget. (Debt service and public-sector employment account for another 50 percent.)

The wolf is two or three months from Egypt’s door, top U.S. officials believe. Meanwhile, the country is facing increasing political turmoil, with riots Tuesday in Port Said that left 50 wounded. Morsi’s government sent a new proposal to the IMF last week, but it may fall short of the IMF’s reform targets, further delaying action.(...)

 

So what are U.S. policy options as Egypt nears the brink? Some of Morsi’s critics argue that the United States should let him fail. That’s certainly the view of Egypt’s secular opposition, along with conservative Persian Gulf regimes. They hope Egyptians will reject Morsi and his party in parliamentary elections that begin in late April but might be delayed because of legal challenges.

 

More on: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-egypt-slides-toward-financial-ruin/2013/03/06/85974478-85e4-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html

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Political Islam in Name Only -Asharq Alawsat Newspaper

Political Islam in Name Only -Asharq Alawsat Newspaper | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Several politicians and analysts are trying to look closely and accurately into the state of confusion, tension, and failure that has characterized the experience of the ruling political groups and parties in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, ever since the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolutions. 

(...) these political groups (...) have failed to accommodate different segments of society and represent them all, particularly at a highly sensitive time following on from the violent and impassioned uprisings.

These groups were once part of the opposition category themselves; practicing their activities in secret under the severe oppression of the previous regimes. As a result, once in power they took on a retaliatory form, further intensifying the state of fragmentation and fuelling mistrust within society.

 

Islam’s discourse on politics in general is somewhat shallow. While we can find dozens of volumes and books on purity, worship, and other issues, there are very few books on "political fiqh", and a clear lack of scholarly consensus.

 

This means that we must use much discretion when talking about political Islam; no one alone can claim a full understanding, and no one should be able to impose this understanding upon others.(...)

 

When one chooses to represent religion in the political domain, he must entail a greater moral responsibility because a huge amount of harm can be caused by his failure. Numerous examples of this can be seen in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, with a prevailing atmosphere of disappointment and frustration. (...)

 

The same applies to what is happening now in Egypt under President Mursi's government, with Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. A large section of the Egyptian people unanimously believe that Qandil has failed to manage the country's affairs, and also that the position of prime minister requires someone of greater expertise. Furthermore, they believe his incompetent handling of the economic situation could prove the biggest danger of all.

 

Nevertheless, the man continues to cling to his position out of "stubbornness and arrogance", ignoring the demands of many Egyptians and describing them as a mob or corrupt remnants. In reality, this behavior is reminiscent of the style adopted by the very regimes the Arab Spring revolutions rose against in the first place.

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

Prophet Mohammed’s approach is a far cry from those who currently claim to be following in his footsteps in the name of political Islam. Mohammed did not advocate revenge, slander or suspicion, nor did he label others as traitors (...)

 

Yet modern-day political Islam continues to generate social ills such as division and sedition, and this situation is exacerbated by specific groups claiming the exclusive right to speak, understand, and judge in the name of religion. The cost of this will not be paid by the current governments or regimes; it is the generations to come who will truly suffer.

 

More: http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=32999

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EU Has No Choice But to Support Egypt in Its Struggle for Democracy

EU Has No Choice But to Support Egypt in Its Struggle for Democracy | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Even though European leaders have been divided over the policy the EU should adopt toward Egypt after free elections brought an Islamist party to power, the EU Council has pledged the union’s continued support for economic growth in countries that have weathered the Arab Spring.

 

EU heads of state met in Brussels earlier this month to coordinate stances and adopt a unified position on "support for the Arab Spring countries." After two days of deliberations, focusing mainly on the EU budget for the next six years, the EU Council released a statement saying: "EU support is crucial to the promotion of democratic institutions in the countries undergoing transition…EU support is more urgent than ever to help transitions move in the right direction." (...)

 

"While some European countries encourage the integration of Islamists into the political process and seek to engage them, others are deeply suspicious of the Islamist political agenda and have been reluctant to extend aid to the new governments in Egypt and Tunisia. But if the democratic transition in Egypt fails, it will fail in the other Arab Spring countries, too," an EU official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told a group of journalists from the Arab Spring countries on a recent visit to Brussels. "An economic collapse would imply failure of the political transition."

 

His statements contradicted remarks made two months earlier by EU Parliament President Martin Schultz, who had suggested that Europe hold back on commitments made to Egypt following President Mohamed Morsi's decision to seize legislative and judicial powers.

 

Grappling with its own economic crisis, Europe has adopted a wait-and-see approach, temporarily freezing the delivery of a €5 billion financial package (€90 million of which are earmarked for socio-economic reform measures) it pledged to Egypt last November.

 

Egypt-actus's insight:

Meanwhile, a series of high-level visits to Egypt since Hosni Mubarak's ouster (including visits by High Representative Catherine Ashton, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Commission President Herman Van Rompuy) attest to the EU’s political commitment to engage with the new government in Egypt in a bid to coax it to stay the course of democratic reform.(...)

 

The EU has also provided €449 million in aid for Egypt from 2011 to 2013.(...)

“The EU must prove that it has learned from past mistakes. It should leverage its aid to Egypt to apply more consistent pressure on the government to promote human rights and stronger democratic institutions,” said rights activist Hisham Qassem. “It needs to show Egyptians that it is siding with the people, not the government.”

 

More on: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20130219/179570559/EU-Has-No-Choice-But-to-Support-Egypt-in-Its-Struggle.html

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Egypt Chief Of Staff Says Army Will Avoid Politics

Egypt Chief Of Staff Says Army Will Avoid Politics | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egypt's armed forces, for decades at the center of power, will avoid involvement in politics but could have a role if things became "complicated", the chief of staff said on Sunday.

It also expects rival political groups to solve disputes by dialogue, Major General Sedki Sobhi told Reuters. (...)

 

Speaking to Reuters at an industry event in Abu Dhabi, said that in a week or 15 days some kind of national dialogue would take shape between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and opposition groups.

The army would not back any political party, he said.

"We are not political, we don't want to participate in the political situation because we suffered a lot because of this in the last six months," he said.

"But sometimes we can help in this problem, we can play this role if the situation became more complicated," he said without elaborating.

Diplomats and analysts suggest the army, fearful of further damaging a reputation that took a beating during a messy transition period when it was in charge, would only act if Egypt faced unrest on the scale of the revolt that toppled Mubarak. (...)

 

Sobhi's remarks were less categorical than those of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief, who said on January 29 that unrest was pushing the state to the brink of collapse and the army would remain the "solid and cohesive block" on which the state rests. (..)

 

The instability has provoked unease in Western capitals, where officials worry about the direction of a powerful regional player that has a peace deal with Israel.

Asked about security in Egypt, Sobhi downplayed violence during protests earlier this month.

"We cannot say it is a very serious or very dangerous," he said.

 

More on: http://www.60news.com/news-egypt-chief-of-staff-says-army-will-avoid-politics-187713/







Egypt-actus's insight:

The military ran Egypt for six decades from the end of the colonial era and through an interim period after the overthrow of former air force chief and president Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

About 60 people have been killed since late January in protests that erupted after the second anniversary of the uprising.

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Coptic Pope Denounces Civil Disobedience in Egypt

Coptic Pope Denounces Civil Disobedience in Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria stressed that all parties must demonstrate wisdom in dealing with the country’s difficult political situation.  (...).

 

As for the Church’s position towards the political escalation being undertaken by some political and revolutionary forces, Pope Tawadros II emphasized, “We must give everybody a chance to take a deep breath away from the successive events, and we must also give the ruler a chance to work and implement his view". (...)

 

In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Pope Tawadros II denounced the civil disobedience and attacks on public institutes, saying “This is something that is completely unacceptable” adding “nobody can accept this because it harms everybody and increases the current decline of the state.”(...)

 

He also stressed that the Coptic Church had, along with all national political forces, participated in the Al-Azhar dialogue which ended with an agreement to renounce violence and lay the foundations for dialogue.

 

As for Mursi’s second call for national dialogue, Pope Tawadros II revealed that the Church had yet to receive an invitation to participate in this. He added that the Church supporters any positive effort carried out by any side for national consensus.

Egypt-actus's insight:

Earlier this month, the Coptic Pope had sharply criticized Egypt’s Islamist leadership, particularly its stance towards the country’s minorities. He told the Associated Press, “We (the Coptics) are a part of the soil of this nation and an extension of the pharaohs and their age before Christ. Yes, we are a minority in the numerical sense, but we are not a minority when it comes to value, history, interaction and love for our nation.

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Non-violent role models for Egypt (by Mohamed El-Sayed)

Non-violent role models for Egypt (by Mohamed El-Sayed) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Two years after the 25 January Revolution began and Egypt is still teetering on the edge. Most recently clashes occurred between demonstrators and police forces when tens of thousands across the country took to the streets to mark the second anniversary of the revolution. It feels like no sooner has a cycle of violence abated than a new one erupts. Many wonder how a peaceful revolution that earned the world’s admiration two years ago has sunk into this quagmire of unrest and uncertainty. And many more are wondering: is there a way out?

 

Certainly, there is.

History shows that many revolutions have been associated with longstanding waves of violence. But history also teaches us that national reconciliation and dialogue can provide a smooth, non-violent way out of vicious cycles of violence;(...)

 

Some of Egypt’s religious establishments are playing a role in reducing the on-going violence already. Al-Azhar and the Coptic Church championed an initiative to denounce violence used by all sides on 31 January. Key Islamic and opposition parties and revolutionary youth representatives signed a document committing that they would not use violence to resolve political disagreements. They also agreed to start a national dialogue to put an end to the volatile situation.

Since our democracy is still in its infancy, political inclusiveness and power sharing among political forces is imperative. Egypt’s chronic social and economic problems are too big to be solved by one political party. A coalition government, including qualified politicians from Islamic and secular parties can at least bring about stability in the volatile political scene and cause the tide of violence to subside.

 

Perhaps one of the causes of the recent wave of violence is the Constitution. Thirty-six per cent of Egyptians rejected the new constitution drafted by the Constitutional Assembly, which was dominated by Islamic political parties (...)

 

More on: http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=32656&lan=en

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ÉGYPTE • "Appels à l'insurrection"

ÉGYPTE • "Appels à l'insurrection" | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Nouveaux appels à la chute du régime à l'occasion de l'anniversaire de la démission de Moubarak", titre le journal du Caire. C'est le 11 février 2011 en effet que l'ancien président avait démissionné.

Face à son successeur Mohamed Morsi, élu après la révolution, des "appels à l'insurrection" ont été lancés, les manifestants menaçant de bloquer le métro. "Face à eux, les islamistes déclarent qu'ils ne resteront pas les bras croisés", ajoute le journal.

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Egyptian has ‘faith’ in unfinished revolution - Video

Egyptian has ‘faith’ in unfinished revolution - Video | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Two years after nationwide protests forced President Hosni Mubarak from office, NBC News catches up with Omar Sedky who explains why his country’s revolution hasn't met the expectations of many Egyptians.

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Egypt: There are no short cuts in democracy

Egypt is an experimental democracy in progress, but when the evolution of this process turns bloody it begs the question: is it worth it?

An Egyptian tourist guide who has lost his job, or a businessman affected by ongoing street violence, would probably respond with a resounding no.

This should be a wake-up call for current and aspiring political leaders.

It has been established that Mohamed Mursi became Egypt's first democratically elected president following a public uprising, with 13.23 million votes (51.73 per cent).

While Mursi was the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) nominee, votes from across the political spectrum were crucial in defeating the old regime's candidate.

In fact, Mursi's victory was only possible thanks to votes cast by the same people protesting in the streets of Cairo today.

His victory belonged to those who toiled and laboured to end the dictatorship of former president Hosni Mubarak.

It was obvious to all - except perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood - that many of Mursi's votes were simply a rejection of the old system, rather than a vote of confidence in him as a candidate. (....)

There are umpteen occasions when Mursi has made poor choices, from his backing down from early promises to reach outside the MB hierarchy to his handling of a vote on the constitution. But should that disqualify him from serving his elected term? I say no.

Mursi's failure is typical of doctrinal, elected leaders endeavouring to satisfy their organised ideological base and the public at large. Trying to balance the two is impossible and they end up failing both constituencies.

 

More on: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1302/S00029/egypt-there-are-no-short-cuts-in-democracy.htm

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Les atermoiements de la diplomatie européenne dans le monde arabe

Les atermoiements de la diplomatie européenne dans le monde arabe | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Elle avait raté le train du printemps arabe et elle a multiplié ensuite des efforts diplomatiques considérables pour rester un acteur de premier plan dans cette région. Aujourd'hui, l'Union européenne s'inquiète de l'évolution de l'Egypte et s'interroge sur celle de la Tunisie et de la Libye. Comment affronter les suites des révolutions arabes, faut-il continuer à aider ces pays ? A cette question, les Vingt-Sept n'apportent pas une réponse unanime, constatant surtout l'influence persistante des islamistes.

Lundi 11 mars, alors qu'ils se divisaient par ailleurs sur l'éventuelle livraison d'armes aux rebelles syriens, les ministres des affaires étrangères de l'Union ont examiné, sans aucun enthousiasme, le dossier. Oublié le "plan Marshall" pour la région, un moment évoqué.

 

"Nous devons convaincre nos Parlements nationaux et nos opinions publiques qu'il faut maintenir les liens politiques et économiques avec cette région en difficulté", commentait, lundi, le ministre luxembourgeois des affaires étrangères, Jean Asselborn. Certains de ses collègues prônaient surtout "la prudence".

"La crise politique que connaît l'Egypte devient de plus en plus complexe. La polarisation s'accentue et la situation préoccupante du pays exige des réponses de l'Union", estime quant à lui Bernardino Leon, ancien secrétaire d'Etat espagnol aux affaires étrangères et envoyé spécial de la diplomatie européenne dans la région.

UN PLAN D'URGENCE ACCORDÉ À L'EGYPTE

Dans l'immédiat, l'Union est sollicitée financièrement par les dirigeants égyptiens, confrontés à des difficultés budgétaires considérables et à une crise économique de grande ampleur. Ils demandent, à bref délai, 190 millions d'euros pour appuyer les négociations qu'ils mènent avec le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) en vue de l'obtention d'un plan d'aide. Le FMI se dit prêt à examiner un prêt d'urgence, en attendant des réformes et la négociation d'un projet plus vaste. Un accord conclu en novembre 2012 pour un prêt de 4,8 milliards d'euros avait été suspendu en raison des troubles politiques. Dans ce cadre, l'Union apportait 500 millions d'euros

Egypt-actus's insight:

Les Vingt-Sept se voient également demandés 60 millions d'euros pour différents projets de coopération et les dirigeants du Caire réclament l'accélération du versement de 200 millions d'aide budgétaire promis par la Commission de Bruxelles.

"En aidant ce pays et le président Mohamed Morsi, contribuerons-nous à reconstruire le nécessaire consensus ou à soutenir des gens qui ne veulent pas du dialogue ?", interroge un diplomate de haut rang. "Tout le monde veut continuer à aider ce pays en transition et personne ne veut qu'il s'effondre", nuance M. Leon.

L'envoyé spécial de Catherine Ashton, la Haute Représentante pour la diplomatie, juge, en tout cas, "crucial" de ramener tous les acteurs égyptiens à la table des négociations et, si possible, dans le processus électoral. Il est actuellement le seul à entretenir des contacts avec tous les courants, y compris les salafistes. L'armée ? "Elle suit évidemment la situation de très près, mais reste calme et refuse de jouer les arbitres, y compris si certains acteurs de la révolution réclament désormais son retour... Elle refuse également d'agir en force de police", relève M. Leon.

 

 

http://www.lemonde.fr/tunisie/article/2013/03/13/les-atermoiements-de-la-diplomatie-europeenne-dans-le-monde-arabe_1847100_1466522.html

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'We must avoid troubles of Egypt' (Video from min. 00"50)

'We must avoid troubles of Egypt' (Video from min. 00"50) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The President of Tunisia says the government is trying to prevent the polarisation of political groups such as emerged in Egypt from happening in his country. the confrontation could lead to a civil war.

 

(...).

Moncef Marzouki tells Stephen Sackur the transition to democracy is proving more difficult than he had expected.

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Dispatches from Egypt: 'Deep frustration and pessimism'

Dispatches from Egypt: 'Deep frustration and pessimism' | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Former U.S. Rep. Larry LaRocco is traveling in Egypt this week and filing stories for the Statesman.

(...) We flew from Washington, D.C. through Munich to Cairo on Lufthansa. The last leg of the flight had very few non-Egyptians on the flight. This absence of foreign visitors is one of the starkest realities of the post-revolution era. Twelve percent of Egypt's GDP comes from tourism and 10% of the employment is tied to tourism. This sector of Egypt's economy has been devastated since the revolution due to the current political uncertainty.

I have never worried about travel in Egypt before and this trip was no exception. However, most people who knew of my trip simply stated "be safe." This common view of Egypt is keeping the tourists out and driving the economy down.

Egypt and most of the Middle East begins the weekend on Friday and resumes work on Sunday. Today we started early with meetings at AMIDEAST (www.amideeast.org), the US Embassy and lunch with the presidential campaign team for Ahmed Shafik. Shafik lost in the two candidate run-off for president against Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.(...)

Egypt is a complex country. It has a extremely rich culture and history but struggles with the future. As a key ally, we still quarrel and disagree. It is the economic and thought center of the Middle East but it is standing still at the moment. I have always felt extremely welcome in Egypt, an over-the-top hospitable country.  (...)

Egyptians expected a great deal from the revolution. Too much.

They are now dealing with deep frustration and pessimism is creeping in about the future.I believe at least 3 key sentiments are driving this frustration and negativism:

1. This new democratic freedom is being viewed by Egyptians in an "all or nothing" context. The nuances of taking the steps towards democracy or a true "transition" to democracy is being tossed aside for a black or white situation.

 

2. Nothing is at it appears. The country has made great strides with its multiple elections but those are now being viewed as negative and making people weary about the road to democracy.

 

3. The non-Muslim Brotherhood faction that lost the election to the MB lives in a bubble that equates to the non-recognition of the election victors. There is deep seated belief that the MB could not have won the elections. Just couldn't happen. Therefore, some believe a quick "do over" is in order.

Additonally, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to make government run efficiently because the MB base was deep with business talent and economic success. To the contrary, the MB has made mistake after mistake since taking office in putting the economy on track. With rampant unemployment and over-spending the situation gets worse by the hour. Politics is about the future and the "street" who supported the MB sees no future in the chosen leadership — at the moment. The MB been unable to articulate a grand plan or play small ball.

More on: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/03/11/2486716/dispatches-from-egypt-deep-frustration.html

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Egypte : Qui perdra son souffle le premier ?

Egypte : Qui perdra son souffle le premier ? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

La tenue du sommet islamique au Caire a été une réussite incontestable du Président Mohamed Morsi, une réussite qui a poussé au deuxième plan, dans un certain sens, la scène honteuse du lynchage télévisé et en direct d’un citoyen, en plein rue du Caire et aux grandes heures d’écoute.

 

Les malheurs de certains peuvent faire le bonheur des autres, et l’opposition du régime égyptien a bénéficié, par l’acte criminel de policier, d’une chance inattendue, voire, inespérée, dans sa lutte acharnée contre le président islamiste, qu’elle cherche à abattre par tous les moyens.

Commençons par le commencement
Il était bien clair que le chef d’Etat a réussi son pari sur le facteur « temps » et a pu arracher, bien que difficilement, une bénédiction populaire de « sa Constitution ».
L’opposition a joué d’une façon hypocrite, pour ne pas dire malhonnête, faisant un abcès de fixation du pourcentage faible de votants, qui n’a pas dépassé 32% des inscrits. Les ténors de l’opposition ont crié sur tous les toits que le nombre d’abstentionnistes, 68%, doit s’ajouter au vote négatif. Ce qui est ridicule, car un refus populaire ne peut être pris en considération que par un « non », direct, clair et sans équivoque.   

 

Plus: http://www.elmoudjahid.com/fr/actualites/39192

 

 

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DEAR AMERICA: Things Are Falling Apart In Egypt

DEAR AMERICA: Things Are Falling Apart In Egypt | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

A letter from a woman in Cairo.

 

I have been in correspondence with a thirty-something college-educated woman who lives in Cairo with her family.

 

I've had her identity independently verified. Until now, she was reluctant to have her story published, and still asks we not use her name.

But things are getting bad over there and she wants American to know.

 

Here's a letter from Egypt:

 

I'm very frustrated. I'm angry. We're seeing total security vacuum in some places in Cairo - total absence of security forces (police); non-stop clashes and deaths spilling out from Portstaid to at least 2 more governorates.

Too many deaths — protesters and policemen and military. The police are cracking down on protesters and in other places they're absent and thugs are controlling the streets in downtown and in front of Semiramis Hotel. And we're seeing severe shortage of solar, which is causing awful traffic jams almost everywhere and strikes by taxi and truck drivers. 

Muslim Brotherhood (MB) students are losing in student university union elections — they won in two universities but lost in several other places. 

Why is the USA giving any money to Egypt? Why does Obama Administration still support the MB?

The government is ignoring the events and protests; the Interior Ministry is heavily involved in what's happening and they too are angry because of casualties among them.

Something wrong is going on. Why is the USA silent?

Do they want another Syria? Obama doesn't know that this atmosphere helps homegrown extremists to do what they want inside and outside the country?

Some newspapers criticize Morsi and his government and policies, but that's not enough. Why did the US use harsh language with Mubarak and not doing the same with Morsi?

What kind of experience do the MB have to run the country? Did you hear about the "Powers of Attorney" by tens of citizens in Portsaid and other places for General Al-Sisi to run the country?

It is all too much to bear, believing that nobody, anywhere, really cares.



More on: http://www.businessinsider.com/whats-happening-in-cairo-egypt-2013-3?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+businessinsider%2Fpolitics+%28Business+Insider+-+Politix%29
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Egypt's political elites and their estrangement from the poor

Egypt's political elites and their estrangement from the poor | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Evidence abounds that Egypt's political elite, both within and outside of its ruling Muslim Brotherhood, aren't engaged with the issue that brought them to power.

Egypt's political elite continue to fail their people. They are failing to empathize, they are failing to speak to the public in a way that makes them feel they're being listened to, and they're failing to craft approaches to turn around a dangerously listing economy.

Egypt's current economic and social problems have no easy fixes, and would confound an all-star team of political leaders. But compounding those problems is the fact that President Mohamed Morsi, his Muslim Brotherhood, and the security forces – who are seen by the public as dangers to be avoided rather than keepers of the peace – are out of touch with the struggles of the nation's poor.

Their attitude veers between amusement, disgust, and contempt, and all of them were on display when, while answering questions in parliament earlier this month,Prime Minister Hisham Qandil was asked about Hamada Saber, a middle-aged laborer who was caught on film being stripped naked, beaten, and dragged through the street by police in front of the presidential palace on Feb. 1. Mr. Qandil managed, in very few words, to unintentionally outline how estranged Egypt's leadership is from the working classes when he launched into a set of unfocused comments that seemed to place responsibility for poverty squarely on the backs of the poor while sidestepping the issue of police mistreatment of Mr. Saber.

The poor, who may not be well-educated but aren't stupid, are well-aware of this contempt among the political elite – one reason so many average Egyptians say that what they wanted out of the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak was more "dignity." So far they're not getting it. (Dan Murphy/The Christian Science Monitor)

 

More : http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2013/0219/Egypt-s-political-elites-and-their-estrangement-from-the-poor?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co


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Egypt in political clinch as economic cliff looms

Egypt in political clinch as economic cliff looms | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Two years after a pro-democracy uprising, Egypt resembles a rickety bus rolling towards a cliff, its passengers too busy feuding over blame to wrench the steering wheel to safety.

 

Foreign exchange reserves are dwindling. Tourism is moribund. Investment is at a standstill. Subsidised diesel fuel and fertiliser are in short supply, while the cost of subsidies is swelling the budget deficit unsustainably. The Egyptian pound has lost 14 percent of its value since the 2011 revolt. Dollars are scarce. An IMF loan that could unlock wider aid is on hold. Unemployment is rising. Public security has deteriorated, and arms smuggling is rife.

 

With little regard for the looming economic cliff, politicians in the most populous Arab nation are trading blows over an Islamist-tilted constitution, political violence and an alleged power grab by the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

To President Mohamed Mursi and his supporters in the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political arm, this is just a tough home stretch in Egypt's delayed transition to democracy.

With the strongest national machine, they confidently expect to win parliamentary elections in April or May, completing their conquest of the new democratic institutions, then set about reforming the country along conservative Islamic lines.(...)

 

Ziad Bahaa el-Din, a former investment authority chief who is now vice-president of the opposition Social Democratic party, says the Brotherhood, like past Egyptian rulers, is trying to secure its grip on power before tackling the country's problems.

 

"This has happened ever since (Ottoman pasha) Muhammad Ali slaughtered the Mamluks in the early 19th century," he said in an interview. "(Gamal Abdel) Nasser locked up the Muslim Brothers and the Communists in 1954. (Anwar) Sadat locked up his opponents in 1971.

Egypt-actus's insight:


"The difference now is that people's acceptance is no longer there. You cannot control public opinion, and the kind of economic problems we are facing cannot be postponed for a couple of years," he added.

 

Dan Kurzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Cairo now teaching at Princeton University, said Egypt was only in "round three of a 15-round heavyweight contest".

 

Among the players in the ring, he sees the Brotherhood, the military, the internal security forces, the revolutionary street, and what he called "the fourth heavyweight - old regime loyalists who may be off balance, in jail or in exile but who will be energised if the economy collapses".

 

More on: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Analysis/2013/Feb-19/207030-egypt-in-political-clinch-as-economic-cliff-looms.ashx#axzz2LKUxyNtd

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Egypt on the brink

Egypt on the brink | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Capital is always a coward. So goes the saying. It goes where there is political stability and it leaves when political risk increases, confidence has been eroded and the investment environment becomes unstable.

For Egypt, the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime two years ago brought tremendous euphoria to thousands of people who hoped the demise of the old system would usher in a new era of accountability, stability, transparency and some measure of equity when it comes to wealth distribution that would diminish the existing disparities in society.

 

Instead, Egypt has been on a thorny road, infused with violence and a chaotic state of disorder that bodes little for reconciliation or a democratic transition in a post-Mubarak era. The prevailing environment has failed to restore investor sentiment.

 

Egypt's new president Mohamed Mursi, who comes from the Muslim Brotherhood, has irked only regional governments who fear the destabilising influence of his Islamist allies on their countries. The new Egyptian president has, more importantly, failed to dispel people's fear that he's not very different from his predecessor. Attempts to expand his constitutional powers and deem them “unchallengeable" last year - until a new constitution was ratified and new parliament elected - ignited widespread protests from liberals, secularists, Coptic Christians and members of the judiciary. (...)

 

“Political unrest makes it more difficult to take economic decisions," says Richard Fox, head of Middle East and Africa sovereign ratings at Fitch Ratings. “The president revoked sales tax adjustments that were a key prior action for the IMF programme, which is also crucial for economic progress as it would demonstrate that the government was finally getting to grips with the economy. It would also catalyse substantial multilateral and bilateral funding."

 

More on:http://www.arabianbusiness.com/egypt-on-brink-489539.html#xdm_e=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.arabianbusiness.com&xdm_c=li_gen_1361116744438_2&xdm_p=1&target=li_gen_1361116744438_2&width=600&height=400&mode=wrapper

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Allowing the Egyptian state to fall

Allowing the Egyptian state to fall | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

From the very first moments and till the regime was actually topped, I and many others warned of the difference between toppling a regime and toppling a state. During the past two years, there have been attempts at destroying, or at least dwarfing, the pillars of the state. Several political and youth factions took part in those attempts unknowingly after being deceived by other factions that have clear goals so that they ended up not differentiating between toppling a regime and toppling a state.

 

Organized attacks have recently targeted the main pillars of the state like security, economy, relations between political factions, the judiciary, and the army. Some of those attempts relatively succeeded in affecting many of those pillars while other institutions managed to rescue themselves. What is certain is that we are now paying for what Egypt has witnessed during the past two years.

Available options

We are still facing the same challenges, for we were deceived into thinking that we have reached stability while the truth is that the ruling clique, which is not different from the one that remained in power till the end of 2010, decided to monopolize power in the country. We are left with one of two options: either giving in or engaging in confrontations. It is not clear why the ruling faction is trying to destroy the pillars of society through instigating conflicts between the police and the people so that one of the two has to be repressed. What is also not clear is this indifference towards the financial conditions of the country, and making it seem like the best achievement is securing more loans and the most effective economic initiative is selling a bank or a financial institution to Qatar or importing more goods from Turkey. (...)

 

More on: http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2013/02/15/266390.html ;

 

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Int'l Conference For Supporting Egypt's Economy Is Necessary: Amr Moussa

Int'l Conference For Supporting Egypt's Economy Is Necessary: Amr Moussa | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

There are more than an interior and exterior regional player in the Arab region, said Amr Moussa, Former Secretary General of the Arab League; referring that the Arab world and Middle East is facing a critical period.

Moussa has referred to the significance of holding an international conference to bolster the Egyptian economy with the upcoming years; clarifying that Egypt needs a financial push to revive the economy. This matter requires well management and taking rapid necessary decisions at the suitable time.

In statements on the sidelines of International Conference of Council for Arab and International Relations, kicked off yesterday, Moussa described the changes occur in the Arab world as radical so we can't back to square one; elucidating that the Arab people are witnessing a radical change, which is a development in itself. Therefore, this development should be accompanied by improvements in how to manage the concerns of the Middle East.

 

The initiative launched by Al Nour Party is convenient to the initiative of the National Salvation Front (NSF) over a national salvation cabinet and changing a number of current policies, Moussa said. Despite that, the Egyptian president hasn't approved forming new government so far, although the new government is a key matter in improving the level of the political and economic policies.

 

More on: http://amwalalghad.com/en/news/egypt-news/14355-intl-conference-for-supporting-egypts-economy-is-necessary-amr-moussa.html

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Epreuve de force pour les nouveaux dirigeants arabes (Egypte)

Epreuve de force pour les nouveaux dirigeants arabes (Egypte) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Epreuve de force pour les nouveaux dirigeants arabes

Les nouveaux dirigeants en Tunisie et en Egypte pourront stabiliser la démocratie dans leur pays s'ils arrivent à relancer l'économie, écrit le quotidien libéral-conservateur Die Presse :
"Les nouveaux dirigeants à Tunis et au Caire ont été élus. Une grande partie de la population les soutient. Pour combien de temps ? Cela dépendra de leur capacité à relancer l'économie et à créer des emplois. Les combats de rue à Tunis et au Caire sont plutôt contreproductifs. La violence et l'instabilité effraient les investisseurs et les touristes étrangers.

La fin du tourisme international conviendrait bien à certains groupes salafistes. … Ennahda et les Frères musulmans sont toutefois plus pragmatiques, et font tout pour que le tourisme ne s'effondre pas. Jusqu'où ira ce pragmatisme ? On le verra au plus tard lors des prochaines élections, qui seront un test pour les nouveaux dirigeants. Ceux-ci doivent en effet prouver qu'ils sont prêts à autoriser un scrutin régulier, et le cas échéant essuyer une défaite."

 

Plus (en allemand): Die Presse

http://diepresse.com/home/meinung/kommentare/leitartikel/1342372/Der-Preis-der-neuen-arabischen-Freiheit

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Which Egypt Is Too Big To Fail ?

Which Egypt Is Too Big To Fail ? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Steven Cook, one of the best Western historians of modern Egypt, advances the argument that “Egypt is too big to fail” (Is Egypt Too Big To Fail?). It is a solid argument buttressed by many facts. It does ignore, however, that when nations come to the aid of another it is often for both practical and sentimental reasons. (...)

The new Egyptian constitution summarizes the current  identity crisis of the country. It seems that there are three Egypts all jostling for the loyalty of the Egyptians. There is the “essential Egypt”, the “Arab Egypt” and the “Muslim Egypt”.

In short, Egypt, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the Islamic Republic of Egypt. It is possible that the assistance to Egypt will depend on which Egypt emerges from this current torment. The Islamic Republic of Egypt may get some assistance from Qatar, although not likely from other Gulf states, or many other Islamic states for that matter. It is unlikely that the Arab Republic of Egypt will get much assistance from the Arabs, as the sad denouement of Nasser shows us.

These scenarios are all subject to debate. One thing is certain, the West will not rush to prop up a pseudo-Caliphate or a zealous Arab nation. Global, and in particular Western, emotional attachment is to Ancient Egypt, and one that they imagine will emerge into a liberal nation. That Egypt closely resembles the familiar templates in the Western mind.  When the West cheered the crowds at Tahrir Square in 2011, it was because they closely resembled the “right” version of Egypt, never mind the underlying facts and prospects of the revolution.

The reality, of course, is that there is no single Egyptian identity. But the popular passion and support necessary to garner large scale investment in another country relies almost entirely on vague emotional attachments, not reasoned debate. Part of the recent Western interest in Egyptian Copts (prickly Egyptian to the core) is their Christian roots and their attachment to Pharaonic heritage. Egyptology, for its first century, was a Western creation, from Fourier to Champollion to Maspero to Carter, and it still retains a certain resonance in the West. The West may aid Egypt in small or large ways, but it will depend on which version of Egypt the current rulers will project to the world.

 

More on: http://salamamoussa.com/2013/02/08/which-egypt-is-too-big-to-fail/

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