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Egypt: new government, new growth?

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 - 02:09

June 17 - After a failed attempt at democracy which led to years of political turmoil and a battering for the economy, Egypt swears in a new government. What lies ahead for a country that urgently needs a return to quicker growth? Hayley Platt reports.

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Life on the streets of one of Cairo's slums. Many here feel forgotten by successive governments. They're hoping their new leaders won't do the same. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF MANSHEYET NASR, ASMAA NASSER, SAYING: "All we want is to be given our rights, nothing more. We want decent living conditions. There are areas in Mansheya that are considered high end like Garden City, but there are also places where there are no facilities and no one has any rights. We hope the new government will turn us from living like rats into human beings." That government has now been sworn in. Except much of it isn't new - of 34 ministers, only 14 are new appointments. There is a new investment post. It's aimed at attracting fresh money to an economy where years of political turmoil have widened the budget deficit. Peter Dixon of Commerzbank. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "I think generally the things to look out for are things like the level of corruption in the economy which has tended to act as an impediment to investment and growth over the years. You've got very high levels of unemployment. That's something which any government really needs to tackle because it's the kind of situation which can certainly foment revolution on the streets. Unfortunately I don't really see an awful lot of light on the horizon with regards to either of those issues." There was fresh hope for reform after the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But for many, Egypt has seen a slide back towards authoritarianism after the Islamist government of Mohamed Morsi was quashed by the military last year - and with the election of former army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, as president. SOUNDBITE: Peter Dixon, Global Economist, Commerzbank, saying (English): "He's very much a throw back to the Mubarak era and as a consequence it tells you that Egypt is going backwards in political and possibly in economic terms rather than forwards." That's bad news for the tourism industry. It's estimated to have already lost around a quarter of a million visitors because of the unrest. Egypt's economy is forecast to grow at just 3.2 percent this fiscal year. Well below what it needs to create enough jobs for a rapidly growing population.

Egypt: new government, new growth?

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2014 - 02:09

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