الأربعاء، مايو 23، 2012

Egyptians set for historic vote today

CAIRO (AP) — Determined to end decades of authoritarian rule, millions of Egyptians on Wednesday waited patiently in long lines outside polling stations across the nation to freely chose their first president since last year's ouster of longtime ruler and close U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.

"I can die in a matter of months, so I came for my children, so they can live," a tearful Medhat Ibrahim, who suffers from cancer, said as he waited to vote in a poor district south of Cairo.

"We want to live better, like human beings," said Ibrahim, a 58-year-old government employee. "Now, I got my own back," he said after he voted.

Thirteen candidates, who include Islamists, liberals and Mubarak regime figures, are contesting the election. No outright winner is expected to emerge from the two-day vote starting. So, a runoff between the two top finishers will be held June 16-17. The winner will be announced on June 21.

"It's a miracle," said Selwa Abdel-Malik, a 60-year-old Christian from the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria as she was about to vote. "And it's a beautiful feeling too."

هناك 23 تعليقًا:

غير معرف يقول...

Iranian group lobbies to be taken off terror list

Bruno يقول...

I dunno ... how can this have legitimacy without a bona fide murkin invasion? Freedom ain't free and all that :/

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Freedom ain't free and all that :/

Egypt has a long way to go before it is free. And there will be a lot of dues to pay on the way.

Marcus يقول...

A big problem for whomever wins in Egypt is that the state is vitrually broke.

A big portion of the population has for quite some time been sustained by subsidised fuel and bread (especially the bread is important) but if the state is broke and can't borrow how is it supposed to subsidise anything?

The problem is that industries like tourism that makes a very big difference since it employs lots of people in low end jobs, and since it provides a nice trade surplus, is reliant on (perceived) security. The worse things get economically the worse the security situation will get and the harder it will be to get industries such as tourism going again. It's a downward spiral that needs to be turned around, which will not be easy for any new government, and all the harder the weaker that government's mandate is.

It's great that Egyptians get to vote. But I fear that many who have pinned their hopes to democracy being some sort of automatic cure for everyday hardships may end up dissapointed. I saw some youths in Tunisia in an interview saying that now that their revolution had changed things democracy would come and soon they would have European standards of living. A nice dream, but it ain't that easy. That's not to say what they went through was easy, but building a prosperous society is harder still. Heck, even the cradle of democracy is crumbling right now, in terms of economy and societal coherence.

Zeyad يقول...

It is a fresh start and it will be up to Egyptians to decide what kind of future they wish to see. I hope they vote/voted wisely, with the best interests of their country and people in mind.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

I just visited Sandmonkey. Apparently he just came back from the States and noticed the MB was well represented in Washington.

*sigh*

That's the problem, the groups who are better organized get the notice, even if they aren't always what we would consider democratic.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Heck, even the cradle of democracy is crumbling right now, in terms of economy and societal coherence.

Democracy is messy. Crumbling may just be remixing the batter a little. ;)

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
      "That's the problem, the groups who are better
      organized get the notice…
"

Groups that are better organized are likely to get power.  It's the likelyhood of them being in power that gets them the notice.

غير معرف يقول...

Iranian Navy saves US ship from Omani pirates

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Kudos to the Iranian Navy. :)

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Meanwhile in Europe things are not looking too good.

Marcus يقول...

Lynnette: "Meanwhile in Europe things are not looking too good."

I'd say there's a feeling of pending doom in much of Europe these days. Got together this evening with a group of fellows from my former job and we discussed this and all felt that there's worse to come. And all in that group have solid jobs with high job security, still they worry.

Sweden has fared quite well so far since -08 but now things are starting to feel gloomy. Retail and domestic consumption is way down and people are battering the hatches. It just feels like the risk on the downside is way, way greater than the opportunities on the upside.

From our perspective, as a small export dependent nation, the thing that could possibly save us now is a good recovery in the US, and that Germany keeps on going. A crisis in Germany and we're in for some serious problems.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
      "…and people are battering the hatches…"

Folks who do have money are, in effect, taking it out of circulation, at least, that's what's been happening over here.  Looking to put it into government insured whatever, and/or stashing it in the mattresses.
The Republicans think we should give the folks with money more tax cuts so they can stash even more money away.  I tend to not fully agree with that plan.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
English lesson for Marcus
(Intended friendly--it sounds so similar, no offense meant)

      battening the hatches…

Battering is breaking in.  Battening is closing the shutters and securing and sealing them with extra wood. See battens, noun

Petes يقول...

If you want to see our version of the mattress, and a sure sign of what twisted wreckage the euro has become, Germany just issued its first zero-rated long term bond:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/germany-issues-long-term-zero-rate-bonds-a-834679.html

The country which shares the same currency as Greece is suckin' European investment funds into the centre like a giant firestorm suckin' the oxygen away from the periphery. If the euro were to go, the new Deutschmark would instantly become the strongest currency on the planet, leaving Germany with serious problems of its own.

Meanwhile the Greek socialist guy is literally putting the gun to Germany's head -- mentioning the "nuke button" in an interview today. It's not his choice though, at least not until after June 17th elections. The French and the Germans are making mutually contradictory statements about eurobonds in interviews. In Ireland the "No" to the Fiscal Compact Treat gained ground slightly, although according to the polls if there was a "Don't Know" vote, it would currently be leading. That has to be worrying for the government, eight days from polling.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
      "Germany just issued its first zero-rated long term
      bond:
"

I woulda thought that'd fall into the ‘government insured whatever’ category.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
I'm beginning to think the real question outstanding is whether or not the major central European banks have off-loaded their Greek debt onto some of their customers, or have perhaps cooked the short-term books enough to keep themselves looking decent a little while longer.  Can they weather the next wind is the first question, then figure out how get solvent instead of just pretending.

Petes يقول...

That might be the real question if the answer wasn't already reasonably well known.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
 
I  suspect somewhat the same thing.  Wouldn't everybody be gearing up for the Greek collapse if the banks didn't think they'd covered themselves ‘til tomorrow.  But, they may not be right.  They've made some bad plays here of late; there have been recent examples of reasons to question their judgment.  Are they right is what I'm wonderin’.

Bridget يقول...

They've bought credit default swaps on the Greek debt they haven't managed to offload. How they come out depends on how well they've selected their counterparties. And also on whether or not their governments are going to aid and abet them in offloading their losses onto their taxpayers a la AIG. Greece is manageable. Spain and Italy, not so much.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

Marcus,

I think we are all hoping that the US economy continues to grow. We have some tough choices to make this year that will affect the outcome.

So far things are looking a little better here. We are seeing homes actually being purchased in a relatively short time, and people are not as afraid to job hop. So some confidence has returned. There has been a certain safety valve being so close to North Dakota, which is still going gangbusters. I have talked to a number of people who have went out there.

But if things get worse in Europe, that may put the breaks on our recovery. Soooo I guess we are all holding our breath at this point.

Lynnette In Minnesota يقول...

They've bought credit default swaps on the Greek debt they haven't managed to offload.

Whatever happened to that old saying..."once bitten twice shy"?

Or is learning from their mistakes not an option?

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.    يقول...

 
      "Or is learning from their mistakes not an option?"

The problem is not enough options.  There are only so many places to invest the ever growing piles of money that are getting concentrating in ever fewer piles.  Investing that money in real production assets doesn't generate the same kinda return on investment (RoI) ratios as do leveraged financial deals.  But there's only so much real financing to do.  After that's done there are always more derivatives to dream up out of the financial imagination and sell to somebody.