The economy is in a meltdown. And the situation on the ground will only be exacerbated by the hordes of young people (under-30s make up an estimated 60 percent of Egypt’s population) unable to find work to pay for the rising costs of basic goods. Radwan is right, the time bomb in Egypt is ticking. There is nothing worse for an unstable country than a restive, and hungry, youth. The only question now is, when the explosion comes, what will rise from the debris?We may not like the answer very much. The Financial Times offers further explanation:
Ashraf al-Araby, the planning minister, said last week that the government was aiming for a growth rate of 3 per cent in the current fiscal year ending in June 2013.
But to soak up some 700,000 new entrants to the job market every year, without even significantly denting the backlog of the unemployed, the economy needs to grow by 7 per cent and above.
Mr Radwan describes as a “time-bomb” the high rate of joblessness among people under 30, which is 74 per cent according to government figures.
“I expect unemployment to increase because there are no signs that the economy is picking up,” says Mr Radwan. “Already some 1,500 [business] establishments have shut down.”
We'll be hearing a lot more about all this soon, I suspect.