Hard Times Ahead for Egypt

Mubarak's first major task will be to reduce food subsidies

Traffic in Cairo streets is regularly blocked by $40,000 Mercedes while their owners indulge Gucci tastes in smart boutiques. Foreign banks and trading companies compete for expensive floor space in new high-rise office buildings. Yet near by, millions of lower-and middle-class residents crowd ramshackle dwellings in fetid slums, and millions of fellahin till fields of wheat and rice in the Nile Delta as seasonal workers for $2 a day. In Egypt, a patina of superficial prosperity gilds a fragile economic core. The revenues from...

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