In what was billed as his first media interview since he was detained after his removal from power in 2011, former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak said it was too early to judge President Mohamed Morsi.
Mubarak said the current president faces a tough job in running the country, in comments made to an Egyptian journalist who reportedly broke through security lines to speak to Mubarak before he entered court on Saturday for his retrial over protester deaths.
“He is a new president who is carrying out weighty missions for the first time, and we shouldn’t judge him now,” Mubarak, 85, said in the remarks published on Sunday in Egypt’s el-Watan newspaper and translated by Reuters news agency.
Concerns for the poor
“This is the secret of my sadness: to see the poor in this condition,” said Mubarak, who was toppled by an uprising fuelled by economic hardship.
El-Watan newspaper is known as one of the country’s media outlets that is fiercely critical of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mubarak also said he was worried by the prospect of Egypt concluding an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $4.8 billion loan seen as vital to supporting the economy. The loan would bring austerity measures likely to curb subsidy spending.
“I fear for the country because of the IMF loan,” he said. “Its terms are very difficult, and represent a great danger tothe Egyptian economy later on. This will then hit the poor citizen, and the low-income bracket,” he said.With parliamentary elections approaching later this year, the Morsi administration has yet to seal an IMF deal.
Mubarak also said he was concerned about lax security, apparently referring to increased crime, and a rise in Islamist militancy in the Sinai Peninsula.He added, “History will judge and I am still certain that he coming generations will view me fairly.”