Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egypt and the European Angle

Here's some of what we in the U.S. may not be seeing in regards to the European response on Egypt:

From Presseurop
The European Voice reports that the EU is reconsidering their aid structures to the country, which for the last three weeks has been paralyzed by protesters demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Earlier this month EU leaders gathered in Brussels called for a democratic transition 'now,' offering various EU instruments that include "proposals and projects" to assist a post-Mubarak Egypt. The columnist Bruce Stokes underscores the leverage that trade could provide in stabilizing the nation should the current president, who has occupied his seat since 1981, respond to broad calls from his citizens that he step down.

From Le Figaro
Le Figaro describes a furious public after this afternoon's speech by Mubarak, in which the president announced the transfer of his powers without going as far as resigning his office. This article features a fascinating minute-by-minute timeline on the events of the day, from before the speech to the march toward the TV station where Mubarak had delivered his address.  

EUobserver sports a black-and-white dichotomy between in reporting and editorial blogs, with almost zero attention paid to the Egypt conflict in the former, and near-exclusive focus poured onto the Middle Eastern nation. Roberto Foa alludes to the region then segues nicely into a demographic analysis.  George Irvin surmises that, "will Mubarak go? The answer must surely be ‘yes’," before launching into a security debate with an Israeli-Arab orientation.  Nicu Popescu writes on revolutions, European "fence-sitting" as policy and the Egypt uprising's similarities with those in Albania and Belarus.

Presseurop submits that the revolutions across North Africa are only difficultly comparable to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. On EU-Middle East relations, they say it's "time to ditch the Arab stereotype."

Euronews bring an under-reported angle to the religious climate in Egypt, where Muslims and Coptic Christians are united in solidarity during anti-government protests.

Global Europe illustrates discord between the EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and the Egyptian government, after the latter warned her not to follow through on a planned diplomatic visit later this month. Those close to Ashton say she still plans to arrive in the region, at least to Tunisia.

Watch this space for more on European and US dealings in the ongoing Egyptian turmoil.


  1. Forget "ditching the stereotypes".... that has nothing to do with individuals' reality in the near east itself, just in the minds of Europeans at home thinking about themselves.

    No - we need to ditch _THE NARRATIVE_ of what we think "all this means" when we're operating on the assumption that the protesters want for Egypt what we all think we have at home.

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