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Enough protests and watching TV, let's start building Egypt: Prime minister
Hisham Qandil urges Egyptians to ignore the media, stop protesting and get to work, for the sake of the economy
Ahram Online, Monday 4 Feb 2013
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Qandil
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil has called on Egyptians to channel their energies into "building the country" and not to take part in protests or clashes.

"In order for the revolution to realise its demands, we must finish with slogans and chants and start focusing on actual work," he said at a televised press conference at cabinet headquarters on Monday afternoon.

Qandil called on Egyptians to "stop protesting and start building the homeland" as economic issues need to be addressed "urgently." He went on to urge Egyptians to "ignore the media" and "switch off your TV sets and get to work instead."

Qandil also asserted that all sectors of the economy were rigged with structural problems that need to be addressed immediately, and that Egypt's economic situation needed to be dealt with before it reached catastrophic levels.

"We need to work side by side to safeguard the economy and this requires honest effort on the part of all sectors of society," said Qandil.

The prime minister went on to say that Egypt was well poised to attract foreign investment, as its strategic geographical position could allow it to become a regional "trade hub" catering to almost 2 billion consumers.

Egypt will host an economic forum next week that is expected to be attended by international experts, with the purpose of promoting investments and boosting confidence in Egypt's "prosperous future," the prime minister declared.

The Egyptian economy is currently experiencing tough times, with a budget deficit that hit a record LE91.5 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year. Egypt's foreign reserves have dwindled to a critical $15 billion, barely enough to cover three months of imports.

A $4.78 billion IMF loan deal meant to offset Egypt's growing budget deficit was postponed in November following a wave of political unrest that hit the country.

The prime minister urged all of Egypt's political forces to ignore ideological differences and work for the country's benefit.

"We hope that all political forces will put the nation's best interests before their own personal interests," he said.

Opponents and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi have been at loggerheads for months, while tensions have been high since 25 January, the second anniversary of Egypt's 2011 revolution, which was followed by days of political violence across the nation.

In recent weeks, tens of thousands of protesters repeatedly gathered in cities nationwide to express their opposition to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood group from which he hails, and which critics allege is effectively governing Egypt.

Three cities along Egypt's Suez Canal are currently under a month-long state of emergency – including daily curfews – following days of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces. President Morsi has allowed the cities' governors to ease curfew restrictions depending on the local security situation.

Ismailia and Suez have both witnessed anti-government protests and intermittent clashes over the course of the last week. In Suez, at least nine people – including one police conscript – have been killed, while at least one civilian has been killed in Ismailia.

On 26 January, a criminal court sentenced 21 Port Said residents to death for their involvement in the Port Said stadium disaster in February 2012. The decision sparked uproar and more than 40 people have since been killed in violent protests in the city.

"Anyone who saw Tahrir Square during the [2011] revolution and [Tahrir Square] these days would know the difference," said Qandil.

Condemning recent political violence, the prime minister added: "Now we must be more constructive."

On Egypt's police and security forces, which have been subject to considerable criticisms recently, Qandil said: "The police force is a national establishment, and if it makes mistakes we should correct it."

A video showing a naked man being beaten and dragged by police in the vicinity of Cairo's presidential palace shown on television Friday evening sparked nationwide outrage. Investigations into the incident remain ongoing.





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Ahmed
06-02-2013 04:28pm
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Build Egypt.
Guys, they began to take more power cause of the people that work for Hosni Moubarak. If they don't take all the power, people that work for Hosni Moubarak will destroy Egypt. If you guys really want Egypt to be better you'll have to work for it! Not to protest and destroy Egypt. If you don't like the President then wait for the new elections, be democratic. Going to the streets and killing people and starting fires won't make Egypt better.
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7



Egyptian
05-02-2013 07:12pm
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Are we your slaves?
This president and government were given a mandate by the people in a democratic way to rebuild the country for ALL Egyptians. Yet instead of keeping their promises to improve the country, they spent the last 8 months focused on expanding their power, insuring their continuity in power while leaving the country to deteriorate and collapse. Now you want us to work? Why did you not ask us to work on the constitution? Why did you not ask us to work on the railways? On the energy issues? On minimum wages? You try to make the country into your personal property then ask us to work for you to make it better? You are sadly mistaken, you will drive this country into the ground and YOU will pay the price for it.
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6



mark
05-02-2013 05:15pm
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blackmail
A speech aimed at emotionaly blackmailing the Egyptians
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5



John
05-02-2013 04:58pm
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The country is what you make it
The brave ppl of Egypt toppled an externally backed dictator for freedom and democracy.now you have an elected leadership. wake up egyptians! Stop further destroying the country and start building. If you don't like what you have vote differently next time- this is the democratic process
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Egyptian
05-02-2013 07:14pm
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build properly
the current government is rebuilding the same autocratic state that we toppled 2 years ago. You want us to work to strengthen it???
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optimistic
05-02-2013 10:36am
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Foundations
Building a house you need a good foundation. The dictatoric way of pushing through a constitution, that will not lead to fairness nor wealth in the next years, nor at all represents the majority of the Egyptian people is the wrong foundation. So first the government muss march ahead on a trustable foundation, then the people will follow with hard work to achieve a better life for all in Egypt. If the MB is not capable of realizing this, then they should step back and let others do the job.
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3



Sharif Shehata
04-02-2013 11:42pm
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Slideshow
Mr Hisham Qandil, Egyptians want to see what you and your government has done for them, like any improvement to economy and society. The government needs to take responsibility for every actions. Mr president Mohamed Morsi needs an immediate to tell the truth where Egypt is heading to. Mr president needs to take all responsibility for everything and his government should not blame the people on the streets. The government needs to show improvement and what action they are taking for safety of trains crossings, planing to build homes for homeless people, Schools and cheap education,Hospitals or public gardens for Egyptians to be proud of. If the government tell the truth and gives all support to the people. People will trust,listen and follow you. Egypt,I am your son. Please Egyptians take care of Egypt. All we need to be honest and to do our jobs right. God save Egypt.
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Sharif Shehata
05-02-2013 11:11pm
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The Trust
Ansari, If Icould I would run my country I will do better, anyone who wants to be successful needs to have plan A and plan B both of them are working together at the same time. Let me ask you and Mr president Mohamed Morsi and his government, how much money Egypt is borrowing until now and where the money has gone. Egyptians need to everything. This is why Mubarak and his regime became more richerand Egypt became Corrupt. Do you know where Mubarak wealth comes from? Mubarak is gone but this is Human nature always to blame someone else for there own failure. Mr president needs tell the truth to Egyptians and he will take all responsibility for his words and actions. Egyptians need to trust the government and the leader they have chosen. Ansari, let me ask you a question, how many tourist visited Egypt last year, over 12million,now make your maths. the charge for a visa is 15 US Dollars. How about The suez canal. this is just an example to you. Every job is hard and it needs a way
Ansari
05-02-2013 08:19am
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Enough protests and watching TV, let's start building Egypt: Prime minister
Sharif , let me ask you a question, what did you do for Egypt? running agovernment is not easy when you inherit huge problems from Pharoah Mubarak. It is not a magic, just twisted the magic wand and it is done. Be realistic it will take lot more time when some anti Egypt protesters are not working for the country. It is imperative that Morsi should deal with the protesters in afirm way. Like in the West protesters should have permission from city officials before protests. Not just start on their own, and city official give the assigned time and the route of protest.
Ali
05-02-2013 05:16am
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The liberal class has failed us
You are not living in the real world. You talk as if you would live in a european country in the prosperous 70`s. No wonder. Since Liberals still live in a Bubble World payed by the poor egyptian Taxpayers since decades without a revenue in scientific achievement for example. There lifestyle is therefore totally artificial in the first place. But it`s getting more tragic and comical. They just copied the cliche´ of a western lifestyle and think that this is what is all about. Understanding the Jokes of John Stewart is not an achievement. Or lets say it this way. You can not sell Twitter capabilities. But you can sell Smartphones. Like the chinese do. Because they have learned the "real deal" from the West.
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medo
04-02-2013 09:30pm
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what we need to do is.....
And Egyptians have been calling on the various prime ministers since the revolution to build a police force who do not take part in torture and beatings.... yet, 2 years later we are still waiting!!! If anything will make this country collapse it is the mismanagement by "politicians who know nothing about politics!" We need a government who have experience, who have studied the law and no how it works... at the moment all the positions are being filled with people who are know nothing about the job title and have the job because of which party they belong to. When the people see the authorities setting a good example there is a chance that they will follow.
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mark
05-02-2013 05:13pm
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politicians
wonder how many of Egyptians are engineers and doctors snd how many have even a basic political qualification
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Morgan
04-02-2013 09:29pm
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Tell that to the government
Man, I'd be all for that idea IF we had leadership that put the people first AND acknowledged that he/she represents the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. As it stands now, the people are being ignored and totally negated. The government needs to be in-line with the wishes of the people; debate a thing if need be, but no more DICTATORS!
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Ashok
05-02-2013 08:23am
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Tell that to all the people that includes you too Morgan just dont sit on your fat fanny and demand
What about you Morgan, you have some responsibilities for the country. It is not just the leadership, it is the people who build the country. You are not in a restaurant expecting food will be served to you. Go and buy and make food.

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