Euromoney Country Risk: Egypt’s finances will weather the storm
It began with the confiscation of a vegetable stall in Sidibouzid, Tunisia. Now it has spread throughout the Middle East. A region where political change had seemed unthinkable is approaching a defining moment. Andrew Mortimer reports.
IT IS THE biggest geo-political story since the invasion of Iraq. The military leadership of Egypt, the most populous nation in the Arab world, had been a staunch ally of the US since Anwar Al-Sadat signed the Camp David Accords in 1978. After two weeks of popular protest, this convenient model of Egyptian governance came to an abrupt and unexpected end. The unity of purpose displayed by the protesters in Tahrir Square stunned observers. Now, that determination must be matched by a unity of action within Egypt’s interim government if the country is to avoid serious economic deterioration.
These epoch-defining moments have naturally increased risk in the region, which is reflected in the latest Euromoney Country Risk scores.
Egypt falls 23 places, Tunisia is down 12, Yemen falls 25 places and Saudi Arabia drops three. (The turmoil in Libya did not unduly affect our experts’ opinions of the country, already placed a lowly 79 in the ECR table).