The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

It’s not easy being popular

The Egyptian government has a chequered record in implementing economic reforms. Praise for the success of its major anti-corruption drive and its adoption of a free-floating exchange rate at the end of January has been tempered by the introduction of capital controls only two months later.

But pushing through tough reforms is not easy for rulers who want and need to be popular. It is also difficult to win over a public that is sceptical about your every motive. Taxi drivers for instance, believe that the law requiring safety belts to be used is a conspiracy to enable the police to get rich. "Traffic is so slow there are no serious accidents, only bumps," says one cabbie. "So why must we wear these uncomfortable things? So the police can catch us and make money."

Single-party domination of politics might suppress the electoral representation of discontent but nothing can stop a Cairene from expressing his annoyance on the street. Whether it's because his passenger has no small change for the fare or because he has scraped the side of the next car while turning two lanes of traffic into three, a Cairene rarely hides his feelings. A driver will also see no problem in leisurely stepping out of a car at a red light to remove a jacket and drop it in the boot, or reversing into the oncoming traffic with the curtains in the rear window drawn.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree