The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, has underlined the significance of Egyptian European relations and the critical importance of the IMF loan during a business dinner organised by the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (CEEBA).
“The EU continues to support democratic change in Egypt but it’s essential to restore faith in this process and trust among political and social forces. Democracy requires dialogue and inclusiveness as well as respect of the rights and views of others,” said Van Rompuy during his speech, stressing that he was not here to give lessons, as each country has its own circumstances.
Chairman of CEEBA, Nader Riad, stated that the democratic process has placed the political agenda at the forefront, which overshadowed the economic one; a problem he hoped would be resolved with the formation new House of Representatives. He emphasised the importance of the private sector in the development Euro-Mediterranean ties, which he described as the fastest way to stimulate the economy and create employment, as opposed to the public sector.
President of the federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, Ahmed Al-Wakil, stated that the EU is Egypt’s number one trade partner and called for the reinforcement of Egyptian European bilateral relations.
Van Rompuy added: “As we all know too well in Europe, some reforms have difficult social costs and for the governments involved and finding the best way to implement them is a difficult task. Even more so in situations of high political intensity such as the one Egypt is currently living. Nevertheless, we also know that postponing action is not a good option. The agreement with the IMF will continue to restore international trust in Egypt’s financial management, it will open new lines of credit, including from the EU. More importantly, it will establish a solid base for further growth and development.”