Monday, April 1, 2013

Apocalypse Egypt?

Maybe I should call "Collapse Egypt"?  After, all it is an Apocalypse when it happens to you, and a collapse when it happens to someone else.  To the best of my knowledge, I have no non-ancient Egyptian connection.  But fighting over gasoline is a pretty common start to a lot of apocalyptic novels.
Egypt is running out of cash to import fuel and food.  The ongoing strife that got rid of their strong man (and U.S. allie) Mubarak, has torpedoed the tourist economy and makes for to much uncertainty for foreign investment.
Egypt's economy is so heavily socialized and subsidized, it can be difficult to know what exactly is going on.
The government is blaming black marketeers, and hording for the current shortage, and are trying various schemes to close of illegal channels of acquisition. 

Short of Money, Egypt Sees Crisis on Fuel and Food
David K. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, 31 March 2013
A fuel shortage has helped send food prices soaring. Electricity is blacking out even before the summer. And gas-line gunfights have killed at least five people and wounded dozens over the past two weeks.
Independent analysts say that the growing shortage of fuel and the fear about wheat imports now pose the gravest threats to Egypt's fragile stability. "It has the potential to make things very, very bad," said Yasser el-Shimy, an analyst for the International Crisis Group.
Egypt has held two years of unsuccessful talks with the I.M.F., and the current government is still balking at the politically painful package of overhauls - even as rising prices and unemployment make those measures more difficult with each passing day.
"They are operating on the notion that Egypt is too big to be allowed to fail, that the U.S. and the West will step in," Mr. Shimy said. "They think Egypt has a right to get the loan, and I think they will probably keep pushing all the way."
If diesel is still scarce next month when the harvest begins, "There will be a revolution of the hungry," said Adbel Moneim Abdel Hady, 40, another wheat farmer.
At the empty Mobil gas station in town, attendants said profiteers, hoarders and desperate farmers were already threatening them with knives, clubs and shotguns. At harvest time, "People are going to kill each other," said Hamdy Hassan, 37, a truck driver hanging out at the shuttered station.


PioneerPreppy said...

It begins at the edges first.

russell1200 said...

Pioneer: I think I can pretty much agree with that.