CAIRO: Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury called for a two-month period of calm to achieve security and stability in the country, urging political players to engage in a national dialogue.
At a press conference Thursday, El-Ganzoury said that foreign countries have backed out of their promised grants to support Egypt. “We have received $1 billion of the promised $10.5 billion from Arab countries,” he said.
“Funds promised Egypt to help it through the democratic transition have not arrived to this day,” he said, noting that the G8 countries have not given any aid money to Egypt and they’ve received nothing of the $2.5 billion the US had promised.
On the other hand, he said that there has been a flight of capital to the tune of $9 billion to date.
El-Ganzoury also said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is eager to hand over power, “they want to leave today before tomorrow.”
Reactions to El-Ganzoury’s statements have been skeptical.
“The people will not respond to El-Ganzoury’s plea for a two-month period of calm unless they see action being taken against those who attacked and killed protestors, whether in January, on Mohamed Mahmoud Street or last week at the Cabinet of Ministers,” said political analyst Abdel Aleem Mohamed, and researcher at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.
“The people’s cooperation is related to their trust in the government and in SCAF and this will never be achieved when authorities continue to blame the killing and injuring of protestors on a third unknown party,” he said.
“Foreign aid is now mandatory and not an option,” said Magda Kandil, head of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies, noting that the government has to work on reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with lenient conditions.
Kandil said that we can’t blame foreign countries for not granting the aid they have proposed.
“They want to give it when there is a clear plan and strategy to allocate these funds to specific projects that are consistent with the objectives of the aid,” she explained, adding that “they will not give the funds unconditionally as the Egyptian side is asking, we need to formulate plans.”
While the prime minister made his statements at the General Authority for Investment (GAFI), around 70 people gathered outside the building chanting “Ganzoury where is the revolution?”
Leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Sobhi Saleh, however, believes that it is necessary to respond to the two-month calm period.
“Any initiative calling for calm to achieve stability for our economy and security must be accepted,” he said, adding that the people must be cooperative to rebuild the country’s institutions.
On the other hand, Karima El-Hifnawy, member of the National Association for Change, said that El-Ganzoury had to direct this plea to those who started the violence.
“People have the right to protest peacefully and this is what they were doing when they were violently attacked and 15 were martyred,” she said.
The death toll from this past week’s clashes has risen to 17.
“[El-Ganzoury] had to direct this speech to SCAF and the military police not the political powers and revolutionaries who are peaceful,” said El-Hifnawy.