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US senator warns that Egypt's military regime hurts the economy

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has told the Washington Post that Egypt's economy will collapse if the military continues to rule the country. As Graham explained to veteran reporter David Ignatius, "This is a power grab by the military. It's unsustainable."

Ignatius himself is concerned about the implications of the US decision to halt part of its annual aid to Egypt and the role of the Republican senator in withholding this aid, particularly the financial assistance to the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, a "widely praised bipartisan initiative" to bolster investment in the Egyptian private sector.

Ignatius suggests that withholding this financial aid could adversely affect the Egyptian economy, arguing that Graham is "hurting precisely the business people who could stand up to both the Muslim Brotherhood and the generals who toppled them."

However the generals are thought to have vast economic interests in Egypt and would likely be the beneficiaries of any enterpise fund. While the precise figures are unknown, analysts predict that the Egyptian military controls anywhere between 15 to 40 per cent of Egypt's economy.

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