After an Egyptian court sentenced 529 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death after just one hearing on March 24, Western embassies reacted with “outrage and shock,” our correspondent there says. But it’s the reaction of investors, businesses, and high-spending Western tourists that might concern Cairo the most.
“For both tourists and businesses, I would say the court ruling is highly disconcerting,” explains our correspondent. “While analysts say the sentences are not final and will likely be reduced, the ruling indicates that courts can and will, when they see fit, issue decisions that are not based on rights to a fair trial.”
That perception is just the latest blow to the Egyptian economy, which is struggling to shake a malaise that hit three years ago, when then-President Hosni Mubarak resigned from office. The current, military-backed interim government has received pledges of $12 billion dollars from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait. But private investors have been slower to return – as have the tourists. Ongoing demonstrations, a string of bombings, and stories of harassment of women have deterred many.
A seemingly politicized court system doesn’t help ease fears.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.