Egyptian president Mubarak has been ruling Egypt for 30 years. Yesterday he agreed to fire his government by replacing his entire cabinet, but did not agree to resign. Will it be enough? What now?
* Has Mubarak done enough to halt the protests?
Yesterday Mubarak sent troops into three of Egypt’s largest cities and made a TV address where he acknowledged the economic frustration of many of the citizens.
Two thirds of Egypt’s 80 million people are below the age of 30 and unemployment is high .
“I make 400 Egyptian pounds ($70) a month. I pay 300 pounds for rent, 20 pounds for electricity, I pay 15 pounds for water. I pay 5 pounds for gas. There is not enough left for food and drink. Where is the medicine? Where is the transport?” a 35-year-old mechanic, who refused to give his name, said.
“I kill myself working all day, and you give me 15 or 20 pounds, give me my fair share,” added Ghareeb, 34, working as a driver.
“We will have to see how people react but I don’t think it will be enough at all. I wouldn’t want to put a number on his chances of survival—we really are in uncharted territory,” said Anthony Skinner, associate director at political risk consultancy Maplecroft.
* What does it mean for Egyptian markets and economy?
When protests erupted in Egypt on Tuesday, shares tumbled in the worst one-day fall in Egypt’s main benchmark’s history and the Egypt pound plunged to six-year lows. Egypt’s financial markets were closed on Friday, the Egyptian weekend. Sunday is expected to be a rough day as well for the markets.
As the Fifth Day of Protest begins in Egypt- Here is what is happening now.
Cairo- “Thousands have gathered in central Cairo and there have been clashes with security forces, while protests are also reported in Alexandria,” the BBC writes. “The army has advised people to obey curfews and avoid gathering in groups.”
Luxor- Al Jazeera reports. “Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Tahrir Square and outside the offices of state television in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Saturday, shouting ‘Go away, go away!’ Similar crowds were gathering in the cities of Alexandria and Suez, Al Jazeera’s correspondents reported.”
Egypt’s military “has closed tourist access to the pyramids,” says the Associated Press. “Tanks and armored personnel carriers have sealed off the site on the Giza Plateau, which is normally packed with tourists.” Meanwhile, says the AP, “tanks guarded key government buildings around Cairo and the central square.”
“It’s abundantly clear” that protesters are not happy with President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement last night that he’s dissolved his Cabinet and will appoint new ministers, says NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, who is in Cairo. “Everyone on the street, what they’ve been calling for ... is for him to leave,” Soraya adds. “They are done with this president. They want a new president. ... They just want freedom and democracy and they will settle for no less.”
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