Arab Economic Aid Helps Egypt Avoid Reforms

(New York Times) Jonathan Tepperman - Barely a week after Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's (Qatari-backed) president, was ousted by the military, Saudi Arabia swooped in and blessed the new regime with a $5 billion check (followed promptly by the UAE and Kuwait, which together kicked in another $7 billion). However, this meddling is more likely to hurt than help. Egypt certainly needs outside aid, but the kind it's getting seems sure to make things worse. After all, Morsi, despite his epic incompetence, managed to hold on as long as he did in large part thanks to $8 billion in aid he got from Qatar over his year-long tenure. Now the Saudis' gift will similarly help his replacements stay afloat. But it will also allow the new government to avoid the painful but desperately needed spending reforms the International Monetary Fund was insisting on. The writer is managing editor of Foreign Affairs.

2013-07-16 00:00:00

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