Egypt's Mursi downplays economic crisis
CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi downplayed on Saturday the country's teetering economy before a newly empowered senate, and insisted that a new constitution that fuelled protests guaranteed equality.
Since the constitution's acceptance in a two-stage referendum this month following weeks of often violent protests, the Islamist Mursi's government has sought to downplay fears of a downturn amid a declining Egyptian pound.
In his address to the senate, which the constitution invests with legislative powers until a new parliament is elected in two months, Mursi insisted there had been gains as well as losses in the battered economy.
"General indicators for the social and economic situation have shown some noticeable progress," Mursi said, blaming the weeks-long protests in November and December for damaging tourism.