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Egypt hardens its stance against demands

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Egypt hardens its stance against demands

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The Egyptian government appears to be digging in its heels and bracing itself for another extension of the people’s protests in Cairo tomorrow.

Under pressure from the streets, and from Washington and Brussels where calls for quicker reforms have echoed the protesters’ demands for immediate change, ministers have been insisting rapid change would be “too risky”, and have called US demands “amazing” and an attempt by Washington to “impose” its will on a loyal ally.

The US has warned it will review its aid programme if the pace of reform is not stepped up.

Yesterday the protesters marched out of Tahrir square, which they have made their own, and set up camps around the prime minister’s office and parliament. On Friday, day 18 of the crisis, they plan to lay siege to the state radio and television building, where the army is at this moment sending reinforcements.