Sunday, July 14, 2013

Egypt's energy crisis sparks conspiracy theories

    Sunday, July 14, 2013   No comments

It is one of the first concrete changes observed since Mohammed Morsi’s ousting: power outages and queues at petrol stations seem to have miraculously disappeared. Speculation as to why is running rampant.
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Shortages in the past, shortages in the future?

On the other hand, Halime does not trust the explanation offered by the Muslim Brotherhood. “Intentionally planning shortages would have required a lot of effort,” she said. “If that theory proves to be true, it’s very worrying. That means that a whole group of people is responsible for the difficulties the country has been facing.”

Whatever the likeliest explanation may be, Egyptians may be celebrating too soon. Less than ten days after Morsi’s arrest, queues at petrol stations have already been reported at Beni Suef, in central Egypt, and certain neighbourhoods in Cairo have had temporary power outages.

According to experts, Egypt’s energy crisis is indeed far from being resolved. The sector is plagued by aging infrastructure and is supported by costly government subsidies (accounting for 6% of the GDP and 70% of all government subsidies).

“Egypt pays a lot for its energy and re-sells it very cheaply,” Halime noted. “The system more or less worked before the revolution in 2011, but it’s no longer sustainable. There were shortages in the past, and there will be shortages in the future.”

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