Egypt will need help restarting its economy once the nation’s political situation begins to stabilize, according to Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive officer at Pacific Investment Management Co.
One of the biggest concerns is that investors will remove capital from the economy once markets resume trading, El-Erian, Pimco’s co-chief investment officer, said in a telephone interview on Bloomberg Television with Tom Keene.
Meanwhile, Egyptians streamed out of Friday prayers vowing to topple President Hosni Mubarak after he yesterday defied calls for his resignation for the second time this month.
As the weekly Muslim observance ended today, the military beefed up its deployment downtown, where tanks and armored vehicles have surrounded the dissenters’ focal point of Tahrir Square. Roads and bridges leading to the square were crammed with people attempting to swell the ranks of those who camped there overnight. Al Arabiya said Mubarak and his family have left Cairo and arrived in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The demonstrators’ refusal to leave the square has shifted attention to the army and how far it may go to end the impasse over Mubarak’s presence. His comments may reignite the unrest that the United Nations says has already left 300 dead over the past two weeks. The protests, inspired by the revolt that ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on Jan. 14, have sparked concern that further unrest will grip a region that holds more than 50 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.
“The nightmare of a coup is very bad for everybody, for the young people, for the economy, and that’s the scenario we would like to avoid,” Finance Minister Samir Radwan said on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program.
“The military is highly disciplined, they have taken a decision not to fire at the young people, but of course this stalemate cannot continue forever.”
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