Egypt Independent

SCAF: Egypt has refused foreign aid with political strings attached

Egypt has refused financial aid offers from the Gulf and other foreign countries because political conditions have been attached, member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) Major General Mahmoud Nasr said during a SCAF seminar Thursday.

"Although the most serious problem facing the Egyptian economy in the short term is a consistent decline in foreign reserves, we still do not want to receive aid from the Gulf and other foreign countries," Nasr said.

Egypt's total foreign reserves currently stand at US$22 billion and are expected to decline to $15 billion by the end of January, Nasr said. He noted that Egypt's perilous economic situation is making its economy vulnerable to international pressure.

Nasr added that the Egyptian economy is currently facing difficulties because of the poor economic policies of the former Mubarak regime, and that the economy has deteriorated since the 25 January uprising.

"The military has pumped $1 billion of revenues from its own projects into the Central Bank of Egypt," Nasr said, warning that the government's budget deficit is expected to increase to 10.8 percent. He also expects Egypt's growth rate to reach only 2 percent by the end of the current fiscal year, which would lead to a higher unemployment rate than at present.

"Foreign reserves will fall to $15 billion by the end of January, as Egypt will have to pay $5 billion to foreign investors, as well as meet other obligations."

Translated from the Arabic Edition