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Egypt: Suez Canal “nationalistic” expansion

Middle East - Africa di

Suez Canal expansion inaugurated yestarday. A great ceremony to demonstrate al Sisi eminence. It’s clear that he wants to follow Nasser’s footsteps.

A great ceremony, held on August 6 in Ismailia, has ratified Suez Canal expansion. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has been protagonist of this parade, to which have contributed several world leaders, including the guest of honor the French President Francoise Hollande. Highlight has been simultaneous passage of two ships in the opposite directions.

Suez Canal, opened in 1869, now stretches 72 kilometers, accessible in both directions. Unlike the work infrastructure built by the French company Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez, for which it took ten years, this time realization has been only two: “We will continue to fight terrorism, and we will win. There is no doubt. Egyptians needed to feel, in a year’s time, that they have gained more confidence and security, “al Sisi shooted.

About this infrastructural work carried out, many analysts of international politics have raised doubts. Excluding the $ 8.2 billion spent, the Egyptian government estimate of obtaining $ 13.2 billion by 2023. And, always by the same date, the ships able to transit through the canal will be 97 per day, compared of 49 today.

Numbers which confirm the importance of this maritime route built in the 19th century. But gain difference is not so clear. Egyptian media campaign, as during opening ceremony, it is clearly pro al Sisi. He’s working on two sides.

Geopolitical, where Egypt, Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the Sunni world, definitely wants to become the main partner of the West against Isis in Libya, where it’s supporting Tobruk government. Not only. On the economical and business points of view, Suez Canal expansion will especially benefit China, which made several long term investiments in Africa and in South-Eastern port of Athens.

Internally, al Sisi moves are following Nasser, the second president of Egypt. In 1956, in fact, he nationalized Suez Canal, while in 1970 it was completed the massive Aswan High Dam. The major infrastructure projects and the common rivalry with the Muslim Brotherhood are bringing al Sisi at the same Nasser political line: through propaganda, he wants to become the undisputed leader of Egypt, redacting serious problems of stability in Sinai.
Giacomo Pratali


Giacomo Pratali
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