Delphic in a sense, but also stronger than anything we've heard from the Army since they retired to the barracks in August. Is this an explicit hint of a coup? Not yet. Is an implicit one? Well, duh.
Over the past several days the deteriorating security situation has threatened two of Egypt's major sources of hard currency: the Suez Canal and tourism. The attack Monday night on the Intercontinental Semiramis Hotel saw some LE7 million (over a million US dollars) in damage to the hotel lobby and the looting of the elegant shops in the lobby; the hotel was evacuated as guests checked out not only there but from other hotels along the Nile Corniche. Egypt's tourist industry has been moribund; this may have taken it off life support.
Of even greater concern is the virtual open revolt of the Suez Canal Cities. Beginning with the violence in Port Said over the verdicts in last year's football riot case, and fueled by demonstrations in the (often dissident) Suez, President Morsi ordered a State of Emergency in the Canal Governorates, and this included a curfew.
|Plate reads "Republic of Port Said"|
Morsi has shown signs of backing off a bit: pledging to create a mechanism to amend the controversial new constitution, and allowing the Canal Governors to reduce the curfew if they feel it is justified. A new outburst of pragmatism, or military pressure?