What Egypt needs is a one-year moratorium on protests

Significantly, though, S&P has said it might upgrade Egypt again “if Egypt’s political transition strengthens the social contract, and a sustained increase in net reserves provides evidence of external pressure easing.” This is Egypt’s path out of the crisis, and what happens on July 26 may decide whether it can be reached.

If the protests that both Al-Seesi and the Muslim Brotherhood have called for mark the starting point for deeper polarization and violence, then Egypt’s transitional government will be able to achieve little or nothing on the economy. Egypt’s slide into chaos would continue. Several steps are required to avoid this.

The first of these would be to negotiate a reconciliation package that assures Islamist groups they won’t be excluded from any future political, economic or social arrangements. In exchange, they would need to renounce violence, agree to separate religion from politics, and respect the rights of women, Christians and other minorities. This is an admittedly optimistic scenario and would require finding interlocutors interested in reconciliation on both sides, as well as international mediators.