Egypt: Desperate Act

Cairo is catholic in its debts: it owes money to, among others, the Soviet Union, the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, West Germany and Japan. In all, Egypt is in hock for more than $1 billion in long-term debts, more than half of which must be repaid in hard currencies. Just to service his short-term debts of more than $250 million in hard currency, President Gamal Abdel Nasser was recently forced to sell off a third of Egypt's gold, leaving his country with a dangerously low hard-currency reserve of $108 million. Nasser has also been desperately trying to get his...

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