The Mubarak Enigma



By: YOSEF TASTASSA  
Published: February 14th 2011
in Economics » World

Hosni Mubarak

Egypt's smoke is fading

 

Just three weeks ago Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who had been ruling Egypt for the last 30 years, was sitting comfortably on his throne. Then came the unexpected, and years of frustration and anger burst at once.

 

The crowd shocked the Egyptian regime and 18 days after the first protestor reached the Al-Tahrir (Freedom/Liberty) square in Cairo, Mubarak was no longer the president of Egypt.

 

Now with Mubarak gone, people are asking, "Where is he and where is the money he stole?"

 

Dr. Rumors and Prof. Speculations

 

Even though it's still winter, Dr. Rumors and Prof. Speculations aren’t hibernating.

 

Discounting the fictional reports that spotted Mubarak in downtown Toronto, the initial conceivable reports were that Mubarak and his family left Cairo for the presidential compound in Sharm El-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula and that the resignation speech was recorded in advance. The logic behind it is that Mubarak transferred power to Omar Suleiman and the Egyptian Army but that he’s actually still controlling the country, unofficially.

 

There were also some reports that Mubarak had escaped to Germany and is hospitalized in the city of Baden. Mubarak is in his eighties, his health has deteriorated in the last decade and he needs immediate medical treatment, so there might be some validity to these rumors as well.

 

Another rumor insisted that the president had a severe system failure, including a stroke, and that he is in Germany but unconscious and possibly even in a coma.

 

The conspiracy theorists claim that such reports about his ill health are released in order to distract the world, and Egypt, and actually give the president precious time in order to prepare himself and his family for a comfortable life in some European country or Saudi-Arabia, under secrecy.

 

Mubarak isn’t short on possible living options, and the money that was stolen over his reign as president will buy him and his family passports to wherever he wishes.

 

$5 billion or $70 billion

 

Being the ruler of Egypt for almost thirty years gave Mubarak and his family exclusive access to international businessmen and multi-national conglomerates. Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and A'laa, were responsible for the family's wealth. While still in power, $70 billion was the number being thrown around by many media and financial sites as the value of his families fortunes.

 

The Egyptians who started their revolution, many because of hunger and the frustration of living off less than $2 a day, have demanded that the money be returned to the Egyptian people.

 

Switzerland announced that it will freeze the Mubarak family's assets in Suisse accounts until the situation is cleared.

 

If the figures are even close to being true, it will be very difficult to trace the money. It has probably already been spread in many countries under secret accounts and semi-false corporations. Many of these countries are obliged to financial confidentiality and nothing will be done until Egypt is stabilized.

 

The future

 

In about a year from now, the Egyptians will hopefully go through their first real democratic elections. After a new regime will be chosen to run the country, it is possible that a committee will be established to investigate the former regime’s political and financial accounts, including the Mubarak family. Until then, there is plenty of time for the Mubarak family to organize their matters outside of Egypt.

 

Summary

 

Much more is uncertain than certain. At the moment it does not really matter where Mubarak is or how much money he has in possession. What matters is that Egypt will stabilize, the Middle-East will calm and that the peace treaty with Israel will sustain under the new Egyptian regime.

 

The armed forces have already announced that they are committed to the peace treaty – that is what’s really important.



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