Egypt to receive $6.5 bln in grants, loans: EU

CAIRO, Jan 13, (Agencies): European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, visiting Cairo, said on Sunday the European Union and other financial institutions had offered Egypt over 5 billion euros to support Egypt’s democratic transition.
“The European Union and associated financial institutions have offered an amount of more than 5 billion euros, or more than $6.5 bln, in grants, concessional loans and loans for a period of 2012 and 1013 to support Egypt’s democratic transition,” Rompuy told reporters.
The EU president has told Egypt’s Islamist president that guarantees of freedoms of expression and religions are essential for attracting foreign investors and tourists.
Herman van Rompuy added that genuine democracy can be achieved only through consensus and inclusiveness. He spoke after meeting Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who is facing an economic crisis brought on by two years of political turmoil. Morsi is Egypt’s first freely elected president, but the six months he has been in office have been defined by what his liberal and secular critics see as attempts by his fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood to monopolize power and the hurried adoption of a constitution drafted by his Islamist allies and adopted by nearly 64 percent of the voters in a referendum, with a turnout of just 32 percent.

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