FM spokesman slams Economist issue criticising Egypt's economic policies

Ahram Online , Monday 8 Aug 2016

Ahmed Abu Zeid
Ahmed Abu Zeid, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt (Photo: Courtesy of Ahmed Abu Zeid official twitter account)

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid slammed on Monday an article titled “The ruining of Egypt” published in The Economist magazine, calling it “reductionist and biased.”

The Economist issue, which featured a series of articles about Egypt published in the 6 August edition, criticises Egypt’s economic and political state and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's management of the situation.

"As a leading magazine in economic and financial analysis, one would expect from The Economist to provide objective, informed analysis that focuses on evaluating and assessing the merits of Egypt’s economic policies over the past few months," Abu Zeid said in an op-ed on Egypt's foreign ministry blog.

The Economist article's cover depicted the decline of the economy in a graph superimposed on the edge of the three Giza pyramids with a fourth downward curve.

The spokesman criticised the issue for saying that El-Sisi came to power through a "coup," stating that this completely disregards "the will of the [Egyptian] people."

He criticised that the issue attributed the "incompetence" of Egypt's economic policies to the president, overlooking that they are based on the advice of a group of prominent economic experts and Egypt’s well-established institutions.

"It is indeed deplorable, and even disgraceful, that such a professional magazine resorts to using subjective, insulting and politically motivated terms to characterise the economic policies of a country, attributing them solely to the head of state, let alone the poor analytical structure and superficial reading of the Egyptian economy and the nature of the challenges it is facing."

He said that the magazine failed to provide any thorough analysis or even superficial reference to those policies, saying that disagreement on the policies is most welcome in "the spirit of constructive and informed criticism."

Abu Zeid also dismissed the magazine's claim that Egypt’s economy is sustained only through "generous injections of cash from Gulf states (and, to a lesser degree, by military aid from America)," saying that this could not be farther from the truth.

"It seems The Economist failed to notice the decline of US aid to Egypt in recent years. We are not counting on help from anyone."

He also said that the article did not acknowledge the Egyptian government’s plan for inclusive and sustainable growth by 2030.

Abu Zeid added that Egypt's discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the economic package were undermined by the article, and that they should be considered "an indication that Egypt’s economy is moving on the right track."

“We hope that in the interest of maintaining its credibility, reputation and professionalism, The Economist will be less reductionist and biased in the future,” Abu Zeid said.

Short link: