Egypt's president warns against dangers to economy
CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's Islamist president used his first address before the newly convened upper house of parliament on Saturday to warn against any unrest that could harm the country's battered economy, as he renewed calls for the opposition to join in a national dialogue.
In the nationally televised speech, Dr Mohammed Mursi said the nation's entire efforts should be focused on "production, work, seriousness and effort" now that a new constitution came into effect this week.
He blamed protests and violence the past month for causing further damage to an economy already deteriorating from the turmoil since the fall of autocrat Hosni Mubarak early last year.
In an alarm bell over the economy, the central bank announced soon after Dr Mursi's speech that foreign currency reserves - which have been bleeding away for nearly two years - are at a "critical" level, the minimum needed to cover foreign debt payments and buy strategic imports.