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Egyptian deaths touch Davos


It's worth revisiting the comments of Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Mohamed Qandil in Davos yesterday as riots in his country spiraled out of control.

As observers pick over the aftermath of anti-government unrest in Cairo and other cities, it appears that at least seven people were killed and hundreds hurt.

“I want to tell [protesters] that once you have made your voice heard, go back to work. Work hard for yourselves, your people and your families,” Qandil said at WEF.

Unfortunately, around a third of Egyptian youth are out of work.

Commenting that the current Egyptian government has inherited a broken economy from the previous regime, Qandil went on to appeal for patience.

“We need to strike a balance between achieving the targets of the revolution and the reality on the ground,” he said. “[Building] democratic values requires time, effort, patience and accomodation.”

Abdelilah Benkirane, head of Morocco’s new government, supported Qandil’s appeal for patience. “It is illogical to believe that things can be solved in two or three years,” he told WEF delegates.

But Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, disagreed. “People are right to expect dramatic changes,” he said. Unless jobs are created quickly, the whole Arab Spring ideal could unravel, he added.

In the meantime, matters continue to go from bad to worse in Egypt.

Another eight people have reportedly been killed protesting an Egyptian court verdict that sentenced 21 hooligans to death following a football match riot last year.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR