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Elections in Egypt and Germany’s Support of the Dictatorship

Voting booths for the presidential elections in Egypt opened last Sunday. Until Tuesday Egyptians can vote in the sham elections which military dictator Abdel Fattah el Sisi is set to win after clearing away the only contender who might have been able to start a mass mobilization against the status quo, Ahmed Tantawi.

Next to the ongoing elimination of any form of political dissent since Sisi took power in 2013, the economic situation in the country has recently worsened dramatically. Currently inflation has hit 40 percent with almost certainty that Sisi will further devalue the currency and implement further austerity measures after winning the election. 

Germany has made its support for Sisi clear. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Sisi mid October in Egypt to solidify Egyp’t role in upholding the blockade of Gaza during the ongoing genocide by the Israeli state. 

On November 9th Scholz had a phone call with Sisi to again reiterate the pro-Israeli stance of the two countries giving lip service to “a political solution of the conflict for long-lasting peace”. Germany abstained from the UN vote on a ceasefire in Gaza end of October and has been vocal in its support for the ongoing bombardment of Gaza. The state of Sachsen-Anhalt has even gone so far as to require the “right to exist” of Israel as a prerequisite for naturalization in Germany and it is almost certain that other states will follow suit. 

While last November Scholz was still saying that Sisi should let political dissident Alaa Abdel Fattah free and be mindful of democracy and human rights, this rhetoric has completely disappeared from the German state’s vocabulary in dealing with Egypt. 

The German state needs Egypt’s support as a strategic partner in its militaristic, political and economic support of the Zionist entity. At the same time, the German state but also the European Union see in Sisi a useful implementer of repressive border controls to hinder refugees and migrants coming to Europe. While German capital simultaneously has an interest in a “stable Egypt” under Sisi which can be seen for example in Siemens doing a deal with the Egyptian state for 8.1 billion euros to build a high speed rail network in Egypt. 

 The “collateral damage” here being the thousands of Egyptian political prisoners languishing in the horror chambers of Egyptian prisons and more broadly the Egyptian people who have to suffer under the dire economic and political status quo of the military dictatorship. The cruel irony is that the military dictatorship is in fact not stable as it is precisely its worsening economic and political situation that forces more people to search for a better life elsewhere, with many searching for ways to flee to Europe despite the dangerous route.