The key task facing Cairo is to repair Egypt’s failing finances and draw up a roadmap aimed at reducing the budget deficit, which had grown to E£203bn ($29bn) at the end of May 2013 (11 months of fiscal 2012-13) from E£137bn ($20bn) a year earlier. Although three Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE – expedited aid of $12bn after the ouster of Islamist president Muhammad Mursi this will provide no more than a temporary fix.

The government’s priority is to manage the current economic crisis rather than introduce painful economic reforms, which would socially be very difficult to implement. The interim administration will have to create a business environment conducive to attracting foreign investments and also address problems in the oil and gas sector, including shortages of some products. (CONTINUED - 729 WORDS)