The Happy Arab News Service

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why Russia/Belarus are not Egypt are not Tunisia?

It's the demography, stupid.


By Simon Shuster / Moscow Wednesday, Feb. 02, 2011

. . .

According to Transparency International's ranking of the most corrupt countries last year, Egypt was in the 98th place, tied with Mexico, while Russia was 154th. Economic troubles like rising food prices, unemployment, poverty and the vast gap between rich and poor are also comparable in the two countries. The latest data from the U.N. Development Program shows 16.7% of Egyptians lived below the poverty line in 2005, compared with 19.6% in Russia in 2007. The jobless rate is also about equal. In Egypt it was 9.4% at the end of 2009 and it was 9.2% in Russia at the start of 2010, according to most the recent figures in the CIA's World Factbook.

. . .

But for all their dramatic effect, comparisons between Russia and Egypt don't hold much water, as two of the opposition leaders admitted to TIME on the sidelines of Monday's rally. For one thing, the Arab world has seen a demographic boom in recent years that has made for a young and restless population. Many of the people setting fire to barricades and stoning police in Egypt are younger than 15, an age-group that makes up about 40% of the population. Russia is exactly the opposite, said Vladimir Ryzhkov, an ex-parliamentarian turned dissident. "Our people are aging and in decline," he said, looking around at the pensioners who made up the bulk of the meager crowd at Monday's event, a regular anti-Putin protest held on the 31st of the month. "Also," he added, "the high price of oil [Russia's main export] has allowed the regime a certain cushion of economic stability."

. . .

Source: Egypt Envy: Russia's Opposition Imagines Change

For the demography of slap revolutions, also check this and this.

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Proclaimed un monstruooo muy monstruoso at 2:58 PM