In press statements Saturday, Dr. Farid Ismail, member of the Executive Office of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), described the speech delivered by President Mohamed Morsi in the Shura Council as a historic address, because it is the President’s first after the adoption of the Constitution, and his first also to the legislative council, which assumes legislative power until the election of the House of Representatives in 2013.
"President Morsi gave further reassurance about the country’s political and economic stability, pointing that Egypt’s economy is in reassuringly good condition, and total debts at around 87% of GDP, while many nations of the world have debts amounting to 120% and even 160% of GNP. Certainly, Egypt must not fear the specter of bankruptcy some are talking about in Egypt.
"President Morsi’s speech gave a number of positive messages. It assured the availability of a variety of resources in Egypt. It also mentioned a project which will be implemented in the Suez Canal to create a huge city, providing US$100 billion. This means an increase of 20 times the income of the Suez Canal today."
Ismail further pointed that the President’s address sent a special message to dubious figures leading the counter-revolution from outside Egypt, assuring that Egypt is strong enough to withstand whatever they throw at it, and will not kneel at any time whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Dr. Abdullah Ashaal, former presidential candidate, hailed President Morsi’s speech, delivered Saturday at the Shura Council, stressing that it was a strong response to the allegations of the National Salvation Front, which is trying to scare the Egyptian people of the President’s policies, claiming that Egypt is on the verge of complete economic bankruptcy.
Ashaal also praised President Morsi’s focus on internal affairs, stressing that it refuted all allegations by opposition forces that Egypt is on the brink of bankruptcy. He added that Egypt is a great country, with capabilities and resources that should make it one of the most powerful in the world; but this will not happen except with the hard work of all its citizens, especially its youth.
On Saturday, President Mohamed Morsi said in his speech at the Shura Council: "Despite the government’s work in difficult circumstances, and despite the enormous challenges facing the Egyptian economy, the general indicators of Egypt’s social and economic conditions have recorded some remarkable progress in several areas".
"In the first quarter of fiscal year 2012/2013 (July-September 2012), the Egyptian economy achieved a growth of 2.6% compared to 0.3% during the same quarter of fiscal 2011/2012. The value of investments carried out during the same period amounted to approximately 50 billion Egyptian pounds (over US$8 billion), at a rate of 11.1%. Egyptian economy transactions in the international arena also helped reduce the overall deficit by about 20%. Meanwhile, inflation rates reached their lowest levels since the revolution in the past two months."
The President went on, saying: "Even the situation of the banking system is not as bad as some have tried to portray it. Net foreign exchange reserves amounted to $15.5 billion in November, up $1.1 billion from last July.
"Of course, no-one can say this is satisfactory. Monetary reserves were about $35 billion in June 2010; and in July 2012, they reached some $14.4 billion – for reasons known to all. But with stability, which is improving in Egypt, we will work as hard as we can, with the government, to double the reserves in the near future.
"I assure everyone that domestic liquidity rose to 1,100 billion Egyptian pounds, an increase of 2% from last July. Also bank deposits increased to become 1300 billion Egyptian pounds, compared with 972 billion pounds in the same period of last year."
In conclusion, President Morsi said: "We are aware of the magnitude of the problems and economic challenges faced by Egypt. But that is no reason to provoke a state of panic and cause unjustified worries for the Egyptian people".