Egyptian PM blames recession on excessive loaning
Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Ebeid said Thursday, February 15, that the country's two-year-old recession was due to excessive bank lending in the three years preceding the downturn, the official MENA news agency reported. "The past two years have witnessed an economic recession, which was imperative and necessary", Ebeid was quoted by MENA as telling Egyptian newspapers editors.
"The private sector was blinded by the economic boom" between 1995 and 1998, he said, with banks getting their predictions wrong and doing "too much to facilitate loans". He said all economic actors had counted on prosperity, which provoked "phenomena such as overdrafts and bankruptcies". However, he said some indicators showed the recession as tapering off.
He said electricty consumption rose to 60.5 billion kilowatts in 2000 from 56.5 billion the previous year".
The prime minister added that cement consumption rose to 23.3 million tons from 22.2 million and that the number of tourists had increased to 5.26 million from 4.97 million.
Last April, President Hosni Mubarak had publically recognized that his country was experiencing an economic crisis, notably of a shortage of dollars. At the time, the official press blamed the crisis on huge expenditures on infrastructure, insufficient reimbursement of state bank loans, the low level of foreign investment and foreign capital flight. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)