Right now he is resistant, preferring instead to appeal to his Arab brethren -- even Iraq -- to lend Egypt a hand. Yet as The Economist
: "Even should they cough up, this would improve only the numbers, not the reality."
Egypt's economic woes appear endless: a sliding currency and aggressive monetary action by the central bank to stop it is hampering trade and investment at
a time when wheat harvests appear t0o thin to feed everyone. At least 4,500 factories have shut down since the revolution began and unemployment is now 13
Egypt's courts are overturning privatization deals from the
Mubarak era, questionably corrupt agreements with foreign investors who are now being retroactively hit with the bill.
The subsidies that keep the poor fed -- bottom-rung prices for bread and diesel fuel -- cost the government $20 billion, and changing
that is part of the conditions Egypt must meet to demonstrate to the IMF that it is serious about economic reform if it's to get at least $4.8 billion in
aid along with generous terms dangling like a carrot in front of them.
At the heart of all this is Morsi. In an interview with TIME last year he
acknowledged that the decision was all his. "Now that we don't have a parliament, so I am responsible for issuing laws, which is a big responsibility,
serious one. I don't like to use it unless I do have to. If I don't, if I am not obligated, then I don't like to use it."
With difficult economic choices like these before him, it's no wonder Morsi has shifted his focus to one course where he needn't beg anyone for help --
political action, even if it came with negative results. The constitutional furor that erupted over the changes his Muslim Brotherhood shoved through the
legislature last year still steams on the streets. Protesters planned "day of rage" demonstrations for April 6, events overtaken by Muslim and Coptic
Christian violence that ended in even more deaths.
Now, seemingly in response to the religious violence, Morsi's government is reported to have called in independent legal experts to propose
changes to the constitution. Reuters quotes the state news agency MENA saying a committee will study at least 10 articles of the new constitution that was
rammed through parliament last year over protests from opposition parties over the Islamic slant in the charter and the changes to the treatment of women
and religious minorities.
The proposed amendments won't be binding for the new legislature expected to be elected later this year, Reuters reports, but Morsi would receive them and
was expected to make a decision on their application.
And the political actions of the Muslim Brotherhood continue, even after an Egyptian court threw out the case against satirist Dr. Bassem Youssef earlier
this week. Calls for political leader Mohamed El Baradei to be put on trial for his work at the International Atomic Energy Agency came from the
Brotherhood's deputy leader Essam el-Erian on his Facebook page.