Egypt's economic woes 'fabricated' by Muslim Brotherhood: authorities

Egypt's economic woes 'fabricated' by Muslim Brotherhood: authorities
More than a dozen alleged Muslim Brotherhood members have been arrested in Egypt for creating "crises" and a "negative atmosphere", the interior ministry said on Saturday.
2 min read
26 Sep, 2016
More than 100 bodies were retrieved off Egypt's coast following a migrant shipwreck [AFP]

Egyptian authorities have arrested more than a dozen people for seeking to create "a negative atmosphere" through "creating crises", the interior ministry said on Saturday.

According to the ministry's statement, the group belonged to the banned Muslim Brotherhood organisation and is known as the "crises unit".

"Its role is to find new ways to create and provoke crises through its cadres in the country," the ministry added. 

The ministry claimed the group targeted Egypt's economy through "claiming the state failed in implementing its development plans".

The "escalation" in the dollar crisis and the "escalation of factional demands of some workers in different institutions" are among the crises the group is accused of creating, the ministry said.

The statement included a video featuring four of the men arrested confessing to having been part of the unit.

The arrest campaign and the ministry's statement triggered sarcastic reactions and condemnations, with users warning people of being grumpy or negative so as not to be arrested by the authorities.

Translation: I will block anyone who creates a negative atmosphere on my timeline.

Translation: The Muslim Brotherhood was hoping to create a negative atmosphere, but the Rosetta shipwreck ruined their plans and spread joy instead.

Translation: A Muslim Brotherhood member was arrested as he sprayed Egypt with negativity to hide the real development from the people.

Months following the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Egyptian authorities listed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation and launched a crackdown on the its leaders, members and supporters. 

Egypt's net foreign reserves stood at $16.564 billion at the end of August, less than half the roughly $36 billion held in 2011 before the uprising drove away tourists and foreign investors, major sources of foreign currency.