A picture is emerging of a state where wealth fuels political power and political power buys wealth.

It has been nearly two weeks and the protesters in Egypt are still calling for the president to leave.

Many Egyptians feel that the only ones benefitting from the country’s wealth are businessmen with ties to the ruling National Democratic Party.

Reports about the wealth of Hosni Mubarak, his family and the people close to him have started to emerge. According to some reports, Mubarak himself has an estimated net worth of $40bn to $70bn.

We should keep this in mind when some Egyptian and U.S. officials bleat on about Mubarak’s “60 years of devoted service to his country” and that he deserves an “honorable exit.”

They paint a picture of a state where wealth fuels political power and political power buys wealth.

“In the name of what, exactly, has the United States been ready to back and fund an ally whose contempt for the law, fake democracy and gross theft flouts everything for which America stands?”

According to Transparency International’s annual corruption index, Egypt ranks an ignominious 98th of 178 countries, just ahead of Mexico.

The super rich grew ever more dominant and flashy while 30 per cent of the population remained illiterate — an astonishing non-achievement — and gross national income is a mere $2,000 per family.

 

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